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Brouwer angered by Hamrlik, Neuivrth


Brouwer angered by Hamrlik, Neuivrth

We all knew the NHL lockout would create some serious friction between the league’s owners and players.

Now, the two-month-old work stoppage is dividing locker rooms – in particular the one in Washington.

Earlier this week Caps 38-year-old defenseman Roman Hamrlik told that he was “disgusted” with the way negotiations have been handled by union chief Don Fehr.

“We have to push Fehr to the wall to get the deal,” Hamrlik said. “Time is against us.

“We lost [one quarter of the] season, [about] $425 million. Who will give it back to us? Mr. Fehr? There should be voting between players for questions – YES or NO – then count it. If half of players say let’s play, then they should sign new CBA. If there is no season [Fehr] should leave and we will find someone new. Time is our enemy.”

It marked the first time a player has publicly questioned the leadership of Fehr and when fellow Czech Michal Neuvirth “100 percent” agreed with Hamrlik --  telling TVA Nova Sport, “This lockout is not about majority of players, I think. It is about several superstars with big contracts,” -- it rubbed Troy Brouwer the wrong way.

“How am I going to trust them as a teammate now?” Troy Brouwer told the Washington Post. “…It’s going to be tough to want to back those guys from now on.”

Brouwer isn't the only NHL player upset with Hamrlik's comments. Dallas Stars forward Ray Whitney questioned Hamrlik's decision to speak out against Fehr when he's sitting at home in the Czech Republic.

"Obviously he’s frustrated, but I don’t think it’s fair for him to be making those comments from the other side of the ocean," Whitney told "He should be over here in the meetings if he wants to know what’s really happening.

"But I also know you’d hear comments like that from the other side too, from owners, if it wasn’t for the gag order. They’re equally frustrated. It’s frustrating for everybody."

It should be noted that Brouwer is the Capitals’ alternate player representative for the NHLPA and has been a staunch supporter of Fehr and the union’s stance against taking paycuts in a new CBA.

Brouwer also sits directly across from Hamrlik in the Capitals’ locker room at Kettler Capitals Complex.

Their first exchange as reunited teammates should be an interesting one. So too will be the relationship between Neuvirth and goaltender Braden Holtby, whose stalls are positioned beside one another. Remember, it was Neuvrth who told a Czech newspaper that Holtby was his "weakest competition” since arriving in Washington.

Whenever this lockout ends, Capitals coach Adam Oates may need to pass out olive branches on the first day of training camp.

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Newest Caps defenseman Radko Gudas happy for a fresh start in D.C.

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Newest Caps defenseman Radko Gudas happy for a fresh start in D.C.

Radko Gudas was surprised, but also relieved. A different year in Philadelphia, where everything seemed to go wrong for the Flyers, is behind him now. He plays for the Capitals now. 


“I was a little bit shocked to be honest,” Gudas said in a conference call on Tuesday. “But when I heard where I'm going, I was pretty happy that I got traded to a team that's well known for their winning and their will to win every game they play.”


It capped a whirlwind few days for the 29-year-old, a polarizing figure in the sport along the lines of Washington forward Tom Wilson. Gudas has been suspended four times by the NHL Department of Player Safety. To say he plays the game on the edge is an understatement.


“Staying on right line of suspensions: It's always tough lately in the hockey these last few years,” Gudas said. “I worked on it in the summer and I thought I adjusted the game enough to still be able to play physical, just not be a liability out there for my team. It's always something hard to adjust, but we still have to do it. It's our job.”


In the midst of a rough year for Philadelphia that saw a coach firing and a late playoff surge fall short, Gudas took advantage of increased ice time – and cut his penalty minutes to 63 from a high of 116 when he joined the Flyers four years earlier. He will never be a big offensive threat, but he’s figured out how to suppress shots and play a reliable defensive game.


At a friend’s wedding in the Czech Republic on Friday when he got the news, Gudas received messages from his new teammates and wasn’t even sure who, exactly, of the Capitals coaches he spoke with. There was a lot going on. But he’s excited to play “for a well oiled machine” like Washington, which has its 2018 Stanley Cup and has won the Metropolitan Division four years in a row. 


Gudas knows fellow Washington defenseman Michal Kempny, 29, well. The two men were born just three months apart in 1990 and were teammates on the World Juniors under-18 Czech Republic team in 2008. They reconnected in 2017 for the Czech Republics’ entry in the IIHF World Championships. Jakub Vrana, 23, is a third Czech on one of the NHL’s most diverse rosters and played with Gudas at the 2019 World Championships. Kempny was still recovering from a torn hamstring sustained during the regular season. 


That familiarity is nice, but Gudas has been traded before when Tampa Bay sent him to Philadelphia in 2015. You just adjust to the role given with your new team. He’s ready for a fresh start with the Capitals. 


“They’re the winners from last year, they were the contenders this year,” Gudas said. “They always have a good team. They in the playoffs every year all these years. Play my simple game, the guys to know what to expect for me and know I’ll be there for them.”

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Capitals Talk hosts "Capitals On the Clock" special: How to watch, live stream, listen

Capitals Talk hosts "Capitals On the Clock" special: How to watch, live stream, listen

With the NHL Draft just a few days away in Vancouver and after countless mock drafts, NBC Sports Washington will have you covered as the Capitals decide who to take with the 25th overall pick.

As part of NBC Sports Washington's coverage of the NHL Draft, the Capitals Talk Podcast will host 'Capitals On the Clock: Draft Night' on linear television and as a live stream on the NBC Sports MyTeams app.

Capitals Talk will sit down with Rob Carlin, Grant Paulsen, Al Koken, Michael Jenkins, J.J. Regan and Brian McNally to discuss the Capitals the 2019 Draft. They'll be joined by Zack Fisch, Manager of Media Relations & Broadcasting with the Hershey Bears, who will shed light on who's ready to make the jump from the AHL to the NHL.

The live stream will also include an NHL and Capitals Draft trivia segment which fans will be able to play along with.

And if you haven't already downloaded the MyTeams App, you can do so right now, RIGHT HERE.

Capitals Talk Podcast "Capitals on the Clock" Special

When: 8 p.m. Friday June 21

Where: NBC Sports Washington and NBC Sports MyTeams App