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FlightZone: Ovechkin Will Play for His Country

With the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, can we please go to Pyeongchang?

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Just in case there was any ambiguity, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin made things perfectly clear: he will play in the 2018 Winter Olympics. When Ovi made a similar commitment to the games in Sochi, everyone chalked it down to that event being on Russian soil. Good on him for being consistent in his dedication to international hockey and chasing the Olympic dream, even if some folks fret about his public position undercutting the NHL's.

On general Olympic participation, Greg Wyshynski made a particularly salient point: "I look at the 2016 World Cup and the plans for a hockey Ryder Cup, and I wonder if we've seen the last of them in the Olympics. And then I see that contract with NBC and think there’s no way they won’t."

And now the news.

Central Division

Tomas Vincour's on-again, off-again relationship with the Colorado Avalanche continues, as he departs for the greener pastures of Sibir Novosibirsk. Considering the Avs didn't qualify him, that's probably it for his career in the Mile-High City. (ProHockeyTalk)

When it comes to his relation with Boston, Tyler Seguin is letting his play on the ice do the talking. Though he did give this particularly poetic moment: "Boston is always going to be a part of me...I'm just not a part of it anymore." (The Score)

It hasn't been in the news lately, but the lawsuit from former Minnesota Wild fan favourite Derek Boogaard's family against the NHL continues. The latest development is Boogaard family lawyer Bill Gibbs asking the court to delay its ruling, while he looks to unseal evidence from an additional lawsuit he's also involved in. (FOX Sports)

Here are your three questions facing the Wild: is Dubnyk real, are their centers sufficient and can they fix the power play. My respective answers are probably, they'll be fine and have you tried not using Ryan Suter. (NHL)

Minnesota's top five prospects don't look too bad, though what is a Gustav Olofsson and why is he there instead of Mario Lucia or Gustav Bouramman? In all seriousness, here's hoping Olofsson has a better year than his previous one. (NHL)

PHT skips the easy answer for their Under Pressure series, instead highlighting Blues GM Doug Armstrong. If Armstrong is canned following another early playoff exit, I want to live in a world where they introduce new General Manager Martin Brodeur. (ProHockeyTalk)

Ken Wiebe investigates the issue of how much Andrew Ladd's next contract would cost the Winnipeg Jets. His conclusion: "Don't expect Ladd to take less than a six year deal for between $36-39 million, as he's holding most of the cards in this negotiation". According to my Windows accessories calculator, that's $6 - $6.5 million per season, which wouldn't be a terrible AAV. Six years though... (Winnipeg Sun)

Speaking of Jets contract negotiations!

And All The Rest

The new Grand Rapids Griffins logo looks like a murderous hellion escaped from the gates of Hades, which is cool. Is it wrong though that I prefer the old one? (SportsLogos)

Bridgestone has reportedly dropped their sponsorship of the NHL's Mark Messier Leadership Award, I presume because they hate character and heart and Mark Messier. (Yahoo! Sports)

Not all NHLers are taking the same firm stance Blake Wheeler did on jersey ads. Mike Cammalleri comes across as downright pensive in his response, and it's wonderful to behold. (TSN)

The Ottawa Senators are in discussions with Martin Havlat about bringing him to training camp on a PTO. If it does occur, it sounds like a no harm, no foul move to me. Whoever said you can't go home again clearly didn't know what he was talking about. (Ottawa Citizen)

Wednesday saw Alex Ovechkin not only receive his seventh Kharlamov Trophy as the Russian NHL MVP, but also pump the tires of countryman and apparent best friend Ilya Nikulin. Could he be worse than Brooks Orpik? Well, yes he could, we really have no idea. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Last but not least, our friend Ryan Noble at A Very Barrie Colts Blog had some fun with how various Barrie Colts might look in classic video games. The idea of Brendan Lemieux as Pac-Man's less circular but still-unrelenting second cousin is great, though my personal favourite is his Bomberman mashup. (A Very Barrie Colts Blog)

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