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Ovechkin ‘upset’ at Grabovski departure, happy with defensive signings

Jul 7, 2014, 12:02 PM EDT

Washington Capitals v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

When Mikhail Grabovski signed with the New York Islanders, you had to wonder how Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin took the news.

Turns out it wasn’t a happy moment for him. In an interview with ITAR-TASS in Russia (translated by Russian Machine Never Breaks), Ovechkin gives his thoughts on Grabovski’s departure as well as the Capitals signing Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen.

On Grabovski leaving, Ovechkin kept it short saying, “Of course I am upset about Mikhail Grabovski. We had a close relationship.”

As for bringing on a pair of former Pittsburgh Penguins in Orpik and Niskanen to help the Caps with their defensive issues, he’s a bit happier.

“That our team signed such guys [as Niskanen and Orpik] – that’s a very strong move,” Ovechkin said. “Orpik, for example, is a very physical defenseman. If he plays on your team – it’s a positive for you. But the results will be at the end of the season, it hasn’t even started yet. Who knows what other changes are coming to the team– maybe there will be a trade or something else.”

Maybe there will be or maybe they won’t, but keeping Ovechkin feeling good helps the Caps out. Losing Grabovski certainly hurts, especially when they don’t have someone to take his place at the moment.

It should make for a fascinating camp with Ovechkin losing a friend and gaining a new GM in Brian MacLellan and coach Barry Trotz, the latter of whom may present the biggest test for him.

  1. rsl22 - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Can’t really blame Grabo for wanting money, but it would have been nice to have a 2C. Hopefully Kuznetsov is the answer at 2C, otherwise there will be a big hole up the middle. For all the negative talk about the contract to Orpik, the Caps needed a strong defense and they finally have it. You win at 5-on-5, and by keeping goals out of your net.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      need a goalie for that though….and a center that can win a faceoff in your own zone.

      • cliffatola - Jul 7, 2014 at 11:09 PM

        Now that they have a real goalie coach things will get better for the Caps with what they have. Kolzig and Oates fan favorites or not were bad for the Caps goalies. @rsl22, The only thing about the Orpik signing I didn’t like was the length, they would have been better off at 3 years but then McPhee didn’t leave them with a whole lot of options either.

    • jl9830 - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:01 AM

      And every single metric says that Orpik is bad at keeping the goals out of his own net, sooooo……

  2. ludacrish05 - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Well if Liach can be healthy for once then maybe he can have that 2C role but if not then we have problems, unless they use green for a trade when his numbers pick up

  3. girouxsalem89 - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    The monster cap hit on Ovie’s deal certainly doesn’t help retain high quality talent.

    • jl9830 - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      Giving 5 years, $27.5M to Orpik hurts more. One contract won’t kill you; every team has one big one. It’s how you spend the rest. The Caps aren’t really spending it that wisely.

  4. Eutaw's Finest - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    As mentioned already, the Caps have a potentially very good 2C in Kuzya. He will get a full season this year to show his worth. Exciting dynamic player. Definitely under the radar.

  5. jpat2424 - Jul 7, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Who’s cares what the Russian thinks

    • ravenscaps48 - Jul 7, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Who cares what YOU think?

    • kyzslew77 - Jul 7, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Strong taek!!!

    • blomfeldsux - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      You must care or you wouldn’t have read the article about him.

  6. live4hockey - Jul 7, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    Kuznetzov is a natural center and good playmaker….If he can improve his face offs, he will be a good 2C.

    • kantnockdahustle89 - Jul 7, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      But has trouble staying healthy for a full season and thats in the KHL….

  7. powerpop18 - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Ovechkin to the Islanders! Despite his defensive liabilities, we’ll take him. The new Russian owner will gladly accept him to Brooklyn.

  8. lilgurgi - Jul 7, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Of course Ovechkin is happy with the defensive signings. His awful +/- couldn’t have been his fault. It had to be the 4 other players not defending.

    Sarcasm full intended for any thin-skinned Caps fans. And for the record, the captain of my team was groping a cop’s buttocks so my team isn’t any better.

  9. blomfeld - Jul 7, 2014 at 11:03 PM


    The bottom line friends is that 2014-15 is now almost ‘guaranteed’ to be Ovechkin’s final season as a Washington Capital and that’s a shame … well at least it is for his ‘few’ remaining fans eh ? :) Regardless, look for Washington to ‘quickly’ recover once they’ve parted ways with this fake, narcissistic, self-centered ‘plastic’ hot dog ! :)

    executive summary: Barry Trotz = the ‘end’ of Ovechkin’s shenanigans !

    • blomfeldsux - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      Your obsession with Ovechkin must cause those in the psychology field endless amusement.

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