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Volume 26 No. 207
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Capitals Pushing To Play Regular-Season Game In Russia Next Year

Ovechkin is one of four prominent Russian players currently on the Capitals roster
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Ovechkin is one of four prominent Russian players currently on the Capitals roster
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Ovechkin is one of four prominent Russian players currently on the Capitals roster
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Capitals have "expressed interest in playing a regular season game in Russia, perhaps as soon as next year, in what would be a first for the NHL," according to Khurshudyan & Pell of the WASHINGTON POST. The league already announced two overseas games as part of its '20 Global Series -- Bruins-Predators in the Czech Republic and Blue Jackets-Avalanche in Finland. The Capitals also have "discussed playing a game in Sweden." The team last played abroad in '89, when they "held training camp in Sweden before playing four preseason games in the Soviet Union." The Capitals "boast four prominent Russians on their roster" -- LW Alex Ovechkin, C Evgeny Kuznetsov, D Dmitry Orlov and G Ilya Samsonov. More than 40 Russians play in the NHL, and the league is "so popular in Russia that it recently agreed to a multiyear deal with Yandex, the leading Internet search provider in that country, to broadcast all NHL games through its streaming service" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/26). In DC, Adam Zielonka writes if the NHL "wants to put a regular-season game in Russia, no team makes more sense than the Capitals, led for the past 15 years" by Ovechkin, "by far the most popular Russian in the league." No NHL team has played in Russia since '10, when the Hurricanes lost an exhibition game to KHL club SKA Saint Petersburg (WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/26).