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Is Alex Ovechkin about to switch equipment brands—again?

Is Alex Ovechkin about to switch equipment brands—again?

Although Alex Ovechkin has four more seasons on his contract with the Capitals, the star winger is a free agent when it comes to equipment.

The six-year deal that Ovechkin signed with equipment manufacturer Bauer in 2011 has expired, CSN confirmed on Wednesday.  

In recent days, No. 8 has been spotted at practice experimenting with CCM gear. The Montreal-based equipment company currently has Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Brent Burns, Carey Price, John Tavares, among other stars, on its endorsement roster.

Ovechkin, of course, burst onto the NHL scene wearing CCM gear earlier in his career.

On Tuesday, Ovechkin tried out a helmet, gloves and stick from CCM. On Wednesday, he was wearing CCM skates during the morning skate ahead of the Caps' preseason game in Montreal. And, yes, the skates featured his trademark yellow laces.

RELATED: OVECHKIN AND KUZNETSOV TEAM UP FOR PRESEASON GAME IN MONTREAL 

According to Ovechkin’s longtime agent, David Abrutyn, the three-time NHL MVP is weighing his options. In fact, during Wednesday’s practice, Ovi alternated between CCM and Bauer gloves.

“Alex has made no decision regarding his equipment partner, but you can expect him to do so in the near future,” Abrutyn told CSN.

Although Abrutyn was tight-lipped about the particulars, his answer would seem to indicate that Ovechkin could still re-up with Bauer, which counts Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Henrik Lundqvist and Auston Matthews among its big-name endorsers.

Here’s what you need to know about hockey equipment deals: While the top guys do get big paychecks for sporting a certain brand, it’s not NBA sneaker money or, for that matter, life-changing dollars for a player like Ovechkin, who will earn $10 million per season over the next four seasons from the Caps. For a player like Ovi, an equipment deal is mostly about finding the skates, sticks and other gear that he feels puts him in position to perform his best.

And right now, he’s free agent in search of best situation for himself. 

RELATED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAPS TRAINING CAMP

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Avalanche

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USA TODAY Sports

3 reasons the Caps beat the Avalanche

The picked up right where they left off at home as they returned to Washington and defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-2. Here is how the Caps were able to put last night's loss behind them and earn the win.

A better start

Against the Islanders on Monday, the Caps lacked energy early on and allowed a goal to Brock Nelson just 2:36 into the contest. Tuesday’s start had a much different feel to it. The Caps were moving their feet, moving the puck and creating sustained zone pressure. This time it was Washington who took the early lead as Jakub Vrana netted a goal just 5:25 in.

RELATED: SEE TARIK'S 3 STARS OF THE GAME FOR CAPS-AVS

Braden Holtby’s breakaway save on Colin Wilson

With the score tied at one in the second period, Colin Wilson was handed a gift from Brooks Orpik. As Orpik skated up the ice to his left, the rest of his teammates all skated right leaving him no one to pass too. Feeling the forecheck, Orpik tried the cross-ice pass, but it was intercepted by Wilson and there were no Caps in site. Wilson had scored Colorado's first goal and looked like he was about the score the second on the breakaway. Instead, he was denied by Holtby. Just 4:29 later, John Carlson tallied the go-ahead goal for Washington. That is essentially a two-goal swing in five minutes.

The penalty kill

The Caps took four penalties on the night and two of them were from one of their top defenseman in John Carlson. Colorado, however, walked away with nothing to show for it. The Caps took one penalty in the first and two in the second when the game was still in doubt. If they had given up a goal on any of those opportunities, it likely is a very different game. Instead, Washington killed off all four penalties they faced making sure the power play was not a factor for the Avalanche.

MORE CAPITALS: A TIMELINE FOR OSHIE'S RETURN TO THE CAPS IS COMING INTO FOCUS

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Tarik's Three Stars of Capitals-Avalanche: That's more like it

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Tarik's Three Stars of Capitals-Avalanche: That's more like it

WASHINGTON — One night after struggling in Brooklyn, Evgeny Kuznetsov and the Caps rebounded with a solid 5-2 victory over Nathan MacKinnon and the Avalanche at Capital One Arena.

The last 10 games for the Caps? How about 8-2-0?

In fact, it’s now been a month since Washington has lost back-to-back games. 

Here are Tarik El-Bashir's 3 stars of the game.

RELATED: LATEST NHL POWER RANKINGS

No. 1 Brett Connolly, Capitals:

Since getting scratched late last month, Connolly has been one of the Caps’ most productive players.

And that did not change against the Avs. No. 10 put the game out of reach, 3-1, early in the third period, firing a pass from Madison Bowey past Semyon Varlamov and into a yawning net on a delayed penalty.

The goal was Connolly’s fourth goal in six games…all since getting scratched by Coach Barry Trotz for ineffectiveness. Bowey, meantime, recorded a pair of assists for his second multi-point game.  

No. 2 Jakub Vrana, Capitals:

The speedy winger put the Caps up 1-0 early in the first period with a perfectly-placed snipe over Varlamov’s blocker. 

The goal was Vrana’s ninth of the season and fifth in the last 10 games. The rookie is now on pace for 24 goals—the number Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams each hit a year ago. 

No. 3  Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals:

Kuznetsov finished the game with a couple of primary assists and a secondary helper. It marked his fourth performance this season with at least three points. And while big nights from No. 92 have become almost commonplace, they're still something to savor. Sorta like that pass to Matt Niskanen on the Caps' fourth goal. 

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.