As we count down the final days before pitchers and catchers report to their respective complexes in Florida and Arizona, teams are currently trying to put the finishing touches on their rosters. The Rangers and Indians are two examples of this, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that both clubs have interest in free agent…
While all eyes for Caps fans are on the Caps-Penguins series, there is other hockey going on around the world. The 2016 IIHF Men's World Championship begins on Friday in Moscow. When Team USA takes the ice, it will be a former Cap who leads the way.
Matt Hendricks, now of the Edmonton Oilers, was named captain of the U.S. team on Wednesday, the team announced. Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Connor Murphy of the Arizona Coyotes were selectd as alternates.
Hendricks was the captain of the team last year as well, helping Team USA claim bronze in the 2015 tournament. The Blaine, Minn. native spent three seasons with the Caps from 2010 to 2013.
The IIHF World Championships take place annually around the same time as the NHL Playoffs which always leads to an interesting collection of players making the trek as it is largely dependent on players who do not make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
There is only one trophy Alex Ovechkin has his sites set on these days as the Caps continue their playoff trek, but he has been named a finalist for yet another individual honor. Ovechkin was named by the NHL as one of three finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award on Wednesday. The award is presented "to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.”
John Tavares of the New York Islander and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators were also nominated.
Ovechkin's on-ice exploits are well known—50 goals, 71 points in a Presidents' Trophy winning season—but he also is very active in the community.
Ovechkin has been a very vocal advocate for American Special Hockey Association and he continued that work this year as an official spokesman hosting a skating session for the organization at the team's practice facility at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in October. He also continued his Ovi’s Crazy 8s program, which provides Capitals season tickets for Most Valuable Kids and ASHA.
The winner of the award will be announced during the 2016 NHL Awards on June 22.