NHL notes: Alex Ovechkin pines for return to Capitals
|Dynamo Moscow forward Alex Ovechkin steps on the ice during a game against Dynamo Riga, Nov. 29, 2012. (INTS KALNINS/Reuters)
The times, as Dylan once sang, they are a'changing.
Just over a month ago, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who has been playing with Moscow Dynamo during the NHL lockout, said he'd stay in the KHL if "our salaries get slashed" by a new collective bargaining agreement.
Well, seems Ovechkin has had a change of heart. In an interview with Russian-language vmdaily.ru, translated by the Alex Ovetjkin blog, he seemed to long for a return to the Capitals.
"I am very comfortable in Moscow, Russia in general, but my soul is across the ocean, in the NHL, with Washington Capitals, with whom I still hope to win the Stanley Cup," he said, adding that he "certainly" would return when the lockout ends. "Alas, every week, even every day and hour, the hope that the NHL lockout will be solved, is decreasing."
Ovechkin is also clearly sour about the disinterest in the KHL by Moscow hockey fans.
"The most annoying thing is almost complete lack of interest in hockey in Moscow," he said. "For example, our game with CSKA was attended by fewer people than a basketball game. And the difference was enormous, three thousand spectators less than watched (basketball)."
FROZEN FENWAY 2?
Another outdoor game at Boston's Fenway Park is in the works, according to a report by College Hockey News.
The Fenway Sports Group and Boston Red Sox are working on another Frozen Fenway event, with an eye on holding more hockey games at the fabled baseball stadium. Fenway hosted the 2010 NHL Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers and has previously been the venue for some NCAA games.
"We are deep into the planning phase for the possibility of a return of Frozen Fenway in 2014,"said Red Sox executive vice president and COO Sam Kennedy told College Hockey News. "We will need to secure proper city approvals and complete our negotiations with the many teams who are interested in competing before we will have any formal announcement."
Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog has played his last game for Djurgarden in Sweden, according to the Denver Post.
Landeskog had two goals and an assist for Djurgarden in a win over Almtuna on Sunday, his last game with the team. He ends the 14-game stint in Sweden with 17 points.
The Post says, based on reports out of Sweden, that Landeskog left partly because of tax reasons -- he's spent so much time there, he would have been on the hook for a serious income tax bill -- and could return to Kitchener, where he played junior with the Rangers, to skate with his former team.
Forward Stephen Gionta signed with the Albany Devils of the AHL. The 29-year-old played 24 playoff games with the New Jersey Devils after spending most of the season in Albany, where he is the team's all-time leader in point, goals, assists, shots and games played ... Columbus Blue Jackets forward Mark Letestu has given up his part-time coaching gig with Bonnyville of the AJHL to sign with Swedish second-division club Almtuna. Letestu joins fellow locked-out NHLers Jhonas Enroth and Mike Lundin with Almtuna ... Florida Panthers forward Shawn Matthias has signed with EHC Black Wings Linz of the Austrian League. Matthias, 24, had a career-best 10 goals and 14 assists in 79 games with the Panthers last season ... Boston Bruins forward Daniel Paille signed with Ilves in Finland and is expected to play Wednesday against Tappara. Paille signed a three-year, $3.9 million deal with the Bruins in the off-season.