On Thursday, Alex Ovechkin announced on Twitter that he had returned to Washington, and Friday morning he was on the ice at KCI for an informal workout with a number of players.
Ovechkin isn’t granting any interviews prior to his Sept. 6 news conference, but the left wing apparently has opted to use sticks, skates and equipment from Bauer after dropping CCM, which supplied his equipment for the first six years of his career. In addition to the new stick and skates he was using this morning, Ovechkin was entirely clad in Bauer gear including his helmet, pants and gloves.
It’s possible that Ovechkin’s announcement next week will involve a new agreement with Bauer, but that has not been publicly acknowledged. Ovechkin has already agreed to a long-term endorsement deal with Nike for apparel, shoes, casual wear and other products but not hockey equipment.
While it’s tough to measure much during these workouts, Ovechkin appeared to have jump in his stride and let out a few of his trademark “woos” during a game of shinny.
He wasn’t the only new arrival at the morning workout: Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson and Mattias Sjogren also took part in the session after making the trip back from Sweden together. They and Ovechkin joined Mike Knuble, Matt Hendricks, Jeff Halpern, Michal Neuvirth, D.J. King, Stanislav Galiev and Dmitry Orlov on the ice with rookie camp a little more than a week away.
>> In other news, Capitals prospect Dmitry Kugryshev has agreed to a two-year contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. Kugryshev has two years remaining on his NHL contract and this is not a loaning of the 21-year-old wing.
The Capitals can retain Kugryshev’s NHL rights but they could also elect to terminate his contract, as they did with Anton Gustafsson earlier this summer. Kugryshev’s KHL contract was first reported by Dmitry Chesnokov.