The Washington Post

Alex Ovechkin: Capitals’ offseason move are ‘big push for a win’

Alex Ovechkin “was shocked” — in a good way — by the Capitals’ flurry of offseason moves, the captain and star left wing said in a video interview posted on the team’s site.

“I was shocked when we signed four players, five players,” Ovechkin told the Capitals’ Mike Vogel, referring to the addition of former captain Jeff Halpern, wingers Troy Brouwer and Joel Ward, defenseman Roman Hamrlik and veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun.

“And it’s something unbelievable,” Ovechkin added, “because you sign unbelievable goalie, you sign defenseman, you sign skill guy who can play physical game, who can score, sign Halpy, who was a captain here, who was here first year when I was here, so it’s kind of a situation when you can see the organization makes a big push for a win.”

Ovechkin, meantime, said he’s enjoyed some time off, which included trips to Turkey and U.S. (or not) cities, but planned to begin offseason training when he returned to Moscow (where he seems to be now, according to Twitter).

After the jump, watch the video — worth it for Ovechkin’s Steve McQueen shirt alone — and read a few more excerpts from the interview.

On the trade that sent fellow Russian Semyon Varlamov to Colorado for two draft picks:

“We trade Varly but we have draft picks and a great goalie. ... It’s hard to lose a friend, but we have a very good relationship with Varly and I hope it’s gonna stay that way.”

On former Capital Olie Kolzig returning as associate goaltender coach:

“Olie the goalie is back, and it’s good for fans, it’s good for everybody. Everybody knows he’s a great guy, he was a leader here, and I was a lucky guy to play with him when he was here. He’s just unbelievable.”

On how he found out right before a flight that the Capitals had signed Vokoun:

“So right before the plane, I go to restaurant with my friends. So we’re sitting and eating and my friend go to Internet and he said, ‘What the hell is going on right now? Capitals signed Tomas Vokoun.’ I said, ‘No way. Joke.’ So we start talking and have a good discussion, ‘No, it’s unbelievable, we just signed Tomas Vokoun,’ and I said, give me the phone.

“So I texted a guy who live here in D.C. and he said yeah, it’s true. So all the guys who sit in there was so happy, like a bomb in the restaurant. ... It’s nice he’s right now in our team and not a different team because it’s hard to play against him.”

On how his training regimen back in Russia will change this offseason:

“The situation has changed and I don’t want to say about it, I don’t want to talk about it, but I’m gonna decide on some little things, but don’t worry; I’m gonna be in good shape and I’ll be ready for the year because a very important year for Caps and for me, too.”

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