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Ilya Samsonov willing to play in AHL, does not believe Caps are 'cursed'


Ilya Samsonov willing to play in AHL, does not believe Caps are 'cursed'

Goalie Ilya Samsonov is considered one of the top goalie prospects in the world and is someone the Capitals would like to bring over to North America sooner rather than later. But just how soon he leaves the KHL and his native Russia is up to him.

Samsonov is on the final year of his KHL contract and could come to North America as soon as this spring once his team's season is over. Or, alternatively, he could choose to sign a new contract to stay in the KHL a few more years.

So what is he planning on doing?

In an interview with Daria Tuboltseva of Championat, Samsonov was tight-lipped regarding his specific plans for next season, but said he has maintained contact with the team and is excited to play with the team’s Russian core.

RELATED: Alex Ovechkin gets no love from NHL Network

Apparently the Caps’ postseason history is well known even in Russia.

One complicating factor for Samsonov is just where the Caps would play him. The incumbent starter, Braden Holtby, is still in his prime at 27 years old and is one of the top netminders in the NHL. If Samsonov comes to North America for the 2018-19 season, at best he would serve as a backup to Holtby. At only 20 years old, however, it is more likely the Caps would send Samsonov to the AHL to get regular playing time.

Playing in the KHL, arguably the second best hockey league in the world, Samsonov has put up dazzling numbers (2.13 GAA, .936 save percentage in 27 games last season). It would be understandable if he did not want to leave his native country to come to North America just to play in a minor league, but Samsonov made clear playing in the AHL would not be an issue for him.

Despite the fact that he would not confirm his plans for next year, it was an encouraging interview for any Caps fans hoping to see the “fearless” young goalie prospect in Washington or Hershey in 2018.

Take that, Ilya Bryzgalov.

MORE CAPITALS: Verizon Center is now officially Capital One Arena

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!


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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan


Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

Say it ain't so.

Mitchell Gibson is the first goalie the Capitals have drafted since Ilya Samsonov in 2015, but they may be thinking twice about their selection after a recent shocking interview.

Gibson spoke with a local Philadelphia CBS station and revealed that both he and his family...are Flyers fans.

Insert dramatic music.

"I think my family will always be Flyers fans in their hearts and I guess I will be a little bit," Gibson admitted, hopefully with guilt in his voice.

Gibson was selected by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but clearly the scouts did not do their homework. It's as if Gibson grew up a hockey fan in a place like Phoenixville, Pa. (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) without anticipating the future that he may one day be drafted by a rival team like Washington.

Shame, shame.

The young netminder tried to make up for his horrifying admission later in the interview.

"The Capitals are definitely treating me well right now so I would like to be their goalie," he said.

A likely story.

Gibson is only 19 and set to begin his first collegiate season at Harvard in 2018 so at least there is still time for Gibson to overcome his shameful past. And hey, it could always be worse. At least he's not a Penguins fan.