If you thought the Olympic story was over after the league announced yesterday they would not participate in the 2018 Winter Games, you were wrong. Almost every player around the league was asked about their stance on the tournament, and some of the strongest opinions once again came from Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. When Ovechkin was pressed, he repeated his intention on attending the tournament whether the NHL allows him to or not. “Somebody going to tell me don’t go, I don’t care, I just go” Ovechkin told Chris Johnston of Sportsnet before going on to say he believes the NHL is bluffing.
There is chance the NHL will install fines or suspensions for players who do go, and Rick Westhead of TSN reports that Donald Fehr, the head of the NHLPA, is already telling agents that he expects the NHL to try and stop them in one way or another. Westhead expects the players’ union to fight any such “impromptu rule” though.
- The Boston Bruins may get a closer look at prospect Jesse Gabrielle soon, as Mark Divver of the Providence Journal reports that the Prince George winger will join the AHL Bruins as soon as this weekend. Prince George was knocked out of the WHL playoffs after another solid season by Gabrielle. He spent time with Providence last spring before heading back to junior, but next year will likely play all season in the AHL. The young winger has offensive upside and an in-your-face style that Bruins fans both love and expect from their young players.
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News gives us an explanation on the Justin Dowling transaction carousel, reporting that Ales Hemsky will be out for the remainder of the season. The Stars had thought he was ready to return to the lineup, but instead he will sit out the last few games and head into the summer as a pending unrestricted free agent.
- Despite sending Timo Meier to the AHL yesterday, Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News reports that he has been brought back up by the team today. It must have been a cost-saving measure, though the point still stands that Meier has struggled to get quality chances despite racking up shots on net. The youngster will look to break his goalless drought if he gets back into the lineup.
- Flyers’ prospect German Rubtsov won’t be getting any more time on the ice this year, as he has been shut down following hand surgery to repair a broken bone. The young forward had 22 points in 16 games since coming over from the KHL in January. He signed his first entry-level contract a month ago, and looks like a can’t miss prospect for the Flyers going forward.