John Carlson Throws First Pitch at Nats Game

Posted by Dave Nichols | Thursday, September 08, 2011 | , , | 0 comments »

(D.Nichols/Caps News Network)
Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson threw out the honorary first pitch before the first game of a doubleheader between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday afternoon.  Luckily for all, there was a long enough break in the rain, at least downtown, for the event to not get washed out.

Carlson spoke to a few reporters from the press box high atop Nationals Park after the ceremony about his experience, the upcoming NHL season, and recent tragedies that have affected the hockey community.

Asked if he'd ever done anything like that, Carlson replied, "No.  I've played baseball but never at that length, from the mound.  It was interesting.  It was fun."

Joking on if his pitch was a strike, Carlson laughed.  "It was inside, right on the plate.  It was looking pretty daunting once I got up there [on the pitching mound], but once I threw it I was decently happy with it."

"I was most happy when it was over with," he kidded about the pressure of being on a Major League pitcher's mound, "But it was fun."
(C.Nichols/Caps News Network)
On trying his hand in a sport without skates on his feet, Carlson responded, "It's different.  I played soccer this summer too [in Mia Hamm's charity event] and that's a change of pace for me. I'd never played soccer.  That's what everyone says about something like that, but what if they get on the ice?  It's a different story then."

Nats relief pitcher Collin Balester, a southern California native, was Carlson's catcher, and made a point to mention to him that he was a big Anaheim Ducks fan as they made their way off the field. Nats relief pitcher Tyler Clippard is also a big hockey fan and roots for the Tampa Bay Lightning. "They're big hockey fans.  You can't expect everyone to be from Washington," Carlson rationalized.

The Caps and Nats have done quite a bit of cross-promotion over the years, and Carlson thinks it's good that the D.C. teams support each other.  "It's great.  It's great to meet them, it's great that all the D.C. sports [athletes] intermingle and I think that I've seen them all at our games now and I love coming out to [Nats] games, I love going to Redskins games and D.C. United.  It's great to see all different types of sports and all these elite athletes."

With training camp a little over a week away, Carlson's excited to get back with his teammates -- returning ones and the new additions.  "It's gonna be exciting.  It's gonna be different.  I'm looking forward to a new season and a new team, too."

"Our mindset right now is first off getting to camp, working our hardest as a team, to get to where we need to be for the first game of the season."

The Caps have added several new players to their mix, so this year's training camp is going to have a little bit different feel to it.  "It's gonna take a while for us all to get used to each other," Carlson said. "They're all great players -- all of the new guys.  I'm really excited to have them on the team and it's gonna be fun."

The mood turned serious for a few moments when Carlson reflected on Wednesday's tragedy in Russia, as a plane carrying the team of KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl to their season-opening game crashed just after take-off, killing all but two passengers.  "The hockey world is fairly small, I think, and instances like this, people are affected.  It was kind of a gloomy day outside too and [the weather] seemed like it just fit right in with the mood.  You never want to hear about something like that and when you talk about it being the whole team, it's just terrible news. Everybody around was affected by it."

The event in Russia adds to a particularly sad off-season in the hockey world, with three NHL players and a minor league player all passing this summer.  Carlson tried to accentuate the positive as the hockey world, a tight-knit community to begin with, has become even closer under the trying circumstances.  "You see all the support from everyone which is good.  Everyone's kind of rallying around each other to stay with it and try to figure some of these things out, and also to mourn the loss of people, and now [Lokomotiv]... It's devastating. But you have to look at is and see what the problem is and go from there."

Updated with Video of First Pitch:

Caps Announce Rookie Camp Schedule and Roster

Posted by Cheryl Nichols | Wednesday, September 07, 2011 | , , | 0 comments »

Capitals Announce Rookie Camp Schedule and Roster

Every practice open and free to the public

ARLINGTON, Va. – Capitals rookies will take to the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex next week for the 2011 Washington Capitals rookie camp, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.

Several players will participate in rookie camp, which begins Sunday, Sept. 11, with a 10:30 a.m. practice and runs through Thursday, Sept. 15, when the Caps rookies face off against the Philadelphia Flyers’ rookies at 5 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

The public is welcome to attend every practice, free of charge, beginning Sunday, Sept. 11.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau and players will be made available to the media following the on-ice session of each day (approximate times listed on the next page). Please make player requests to a member of the Caps media relations staff.

Note: A complete rookie camp roster and schedule follows on the next page. Veterans will report to training camp on Friday, Sept. 16 for physicals and fitness testing. The first practice session and media availability will take place on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. A training camp roster and schedule will be released at a later date.

2011 Washington Capitals Rookie Camp Roster - Click here

Numerical Roster

31    Philipp Grubauer.......... G
33    Mattias Sjogren............ C/RW
40    Steffen Soberg.............. G
47    Scott Wietecha............. D
49    Stanislav Galiev........... C/LW
50    Cody Eakin................... C/LW
54    Danick Paquette........... RW
61    Mitch Elliot.................... LW
63    Garrett Ross................. LW
65    Samuel Carrier.............. D
66    Dustin Stevenson......... D
68    Brett Flemming............. D
73    Luke Lockhart............... RW
76    Garrett Mitchell............. RW
78    Brandon Anderson...... G
81    Dmitry Orlov................. D
87    Samuel Henley.............. LW
88    Reid Edmondson......... F
89    David De Kastrozza...... RW/LW
94    Jimmy Oligny............... D
95    Thomas Frazee............. C
96    Taylor Stefishen........... LW
97    Tyler Ludwig................. D
98    Nick Tabisz................... D

Rosters as of Sept. 7, 2011
* Amateur Tryout Agreement

Ovechkin Signs Partnership with Bauer Hockey

Posted by Cheryl Nichols | Tuesday, September 06, 2011 | , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Photos from the Press Conference:
All Photos ©Cheryl Nichols Photography/CapsNewsNetwork

New Voice of Washington Capitals John Walton

Alex Ovechkin speaking to media

CEO Bauer Hockey Kevin Davis

Caps Care donated $25,000 to Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association

Ovechkin, Davis and George McPhee with the kids from PVAHA

Alex offered up his stool to Ted Leonsis and Ted declined

Ovi and Ted

Bauer equipment in front of stage and podium

Bauer skates

Official Press Release:

Capitals Captain Also Teams Up with Leading Manufacturer to Donate Equipment to Youth Programs in Washington and Moscow to Encourage Participation

WASHINGTON – September 6, 2011 – Bauer Performance Sports (TSX: BAU) and Bauer Hockey, Inc. today announced that Washington Capitals star captain Alex Ovechkin has joined the company’s roster of athletes, becoming the latest elite player to ink an official endorsement deal with the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of hockey equipment. Ovechkin has signed a long-term deal with the company and will exclusively wear Bauer on-ice equipment beginning this season.

Bauer Hockey and Ovechkin have also teamed up to donate 108 sets of equipment to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex and the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association in Washington as well as 108 sets of equipment to the Dynamo Hockey School in Alex’s hometown of Moscow, Russia.

“I am very excited to play with Bauer. This is a great step forward for me as a player,” Ovechkin said. “I’m also very pleased to work with Bauer to give back to kids in Washington and Russia because that is very important to me and my family.”

Considered by many as the most exciting player in hockey, Ovechkin has scored 301 goals and 313 assists in just 475 career NHL games. The Capitals captain has earned the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player twice in his six-year career and has also led the league in goals in two separate seasons, taking home the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2008 and 2009. Ovechkin also earned the Art Ross Trophy for the league’s top-point scorer in 2008 with 112 points, the Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie) in 2006, and has earned the Ted Lindsay Award (formerly the Lester B. Pearson Award) as the league’s Most Outstanding Player three times (2008, 2009, 2010). The 25-year-old is also the only player in league history to be named to the NHL First All-Star Team in each of his first five seasons.

Ovechkin will be featured in Bauer Hockey’s global advertising efforts, including the soon-to-be unveiled Bauer Vapor APX stick campaign. In addition, as an icon in his hometown of Moscow, Ovechkin will play a key role in Bauer Hockey’s overall growth strategy in the expanding Russian and Eastern European markets.

“Alex is obviously one of the greatest players to ever play the game and has an unparalleled passion, commitment and desire to win,” said Kevin Davis, President and Chief Executive Office, Bauer Hockey. “There are very few athletes in any sport that have his ability to influence players throughout the world and he will be an instrumental partner for us as we look to expand our business in key emerging markets.”

In addition to his significant marketing presence, Ovechkin will also work closely with Bauer’s product development team to provide insight and feedback into future product direction. Ovechkin joins an already-impressive roster of Bauer athletes that includes teammate Nicklas Backstrom as well as Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, Henrik Lundqvist, Eric Staal, Mike Richards and Ryan Kessler to name just a few.

For more information, visit

Bauer Hockey is the world's most recognized designer, marketer and manufacturer of hockey equipment. Founded in Kitchener, Ontario in 1927, Bauer developed the first skate with a blade attached to a boot, forever changing the game of hockey. Since then, Bauer has continued to develop the most sought after products in the industry, including the widely successful Supreme ® and Vapor ® lines of products. Bauer Hockey, Maverik Lacrosse and Mission Roller Hockey are brands under Bauer Performance Sports, a publically traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BAU).

Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. (TSX: BAU) is a leading developer and manufacturer of ice hockey, roller hockey, and lacrosse equipment as well as related apparel. The company has the most recognized and strongest brand in the ice hockey equipment industry, and holds the top market share position in both ice and roller hockey. Its products are marketed under the Bauer Hockey, Mission Roller Hockey and Maverik Lacrosse brand names and are distributed by sales representatives and independent distributors throughout the world. Bauer Performance Sports is focused on building its leadership position and growing market share in all product categories through continued innovation at every level.