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Leonsis: World Cup exhibitions well worth the risk

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Leonsis: World Cup exhibitions well worth the risk

At an NHL Board of Governors meeting a few years ago, there was mention of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey tournament getting kick-started with a handful of tune-up games prior to the eight teams converging on Toronto for the start of the tournament.

That perked the ears of Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.

“We have this thriving fan base and we now know how to do it,” Leonsis said. “I volunteered, but we had to bid on it and that’s daunting. We have to sell tickets, we have to have confidence our fans will come out and want to see these games. I just had this confidence that we would take the risk.”

And so, prior to the World Cup of Hockey, Team USA, Team Sweden, Team Finland and Team Europe will spend four days in the nation’s capital, practicing on the twin rinks at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and playing a pair of exhibition games at Verizon Center.

MORE CAPITALS: ADDED PRESSURE ON HOLTBY?

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, Team USA will face Team Finland in an NHL-style exhibition game, and on Wednesday, Sept. 13, Team Sweden will take on Team Europe. Pricing and availability for the tickets will be announced at a later date. The two games will be included in season ticket packages for the 2016-17 season.

 Caps assistant general manager Don Fishman said the positive feedback following Team USA’s Olympic orientation camp at Kettler in August, 2013, along with the Caps’ acquisition of Olympic shootout sensation T.J. Oshie on July 2, helped clinch Washington’s bid to host the exhibition games.

“We thought, what better city than us to bring USA back here,” Fishman said. “We’ve got Oshie back here, (John) Carlson, maybe (Brooks) Orpik. USA was a natural fit and we went hard after Sweden, too, because we’ve got Nicklas Backstrom.

“We think USA will be a big night, but we think Nick Backstrom and Team Sweden will be a big night, too. So we aggressively went after that.”

The four teams are scheduled to work out at Kettler from Sept. 12-15 before heading to Toronto for the two-week tournament.

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Heroes on the ice: Every Capitals player's superhero character

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USA TODAY Sports, Marvel and DC Comics

Heroes on the ice: Every Capitals player's superhero character

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the Washington Capitals!

It's not hard to picture your favorite athletes as superheroes. What the Caps are able to do on the ice seems almost superhuman at times.

Heck, they even have uniforms!

SEE EVERY CAPITALS PLAYER'S SUPERHERO CHARACTER HERE

But the similarities don't just end with the physical attributes and abilities. When you begin to really think about each player, you can see a lot of similarities between each of them and some well-known superheroes.

If each Caps player was a superhero, which one would they be? Check out each player's superhero character here.

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Dmitry Orlov dazzles his hometown of Novokuznetsk with the Stanley Cup

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USA Today Sports

Dmitry Orlov dazzles his hometown of Novokuznetsk with the Stanley Cup

Friday featured Dmitry Orlov and his jam-packed schedule with the coveted Stanley Cup.

The 27-year-old native of Russia decided to take the Cup to Novokuznetsk (located in the southwest region of Siberia) for a meet and greet with fans by the Ferris wheel at Gagarin City Park.

It should be mentioned that Orlov's day with the trophy was nearly derailed after a travel glitch that sent the Cup to Novosibirsk instead of his hometown. 

Thanks to the ultimate assist from a helicopter, the Cup arrived in style and set up one memorable entrance for the defenseman. 

Orlov released this hype video which highlights his entire day on Instagram: 

Дорогие друзья! Огромное спасибо, что разделили с нами наш праздник! Для нас это значимое и большое событие! Ещё раз приносим искренние извинения за задержку с кубком! И спасибо за понимание, мы старались сделать все максимально быстро! Спасибо за тёплый приём! Нашим родным, друзьям, тренерам, отдельная благодарность! Вы сделали наш праздник, наш день! Мы никогда не забудем этот праздник! P.S. Лена @govor_elena , тебе и твоим родным, отдельная благодарность, если бы не ваша помощь, то не известно когда бы кубок был в Новокузнецке!

A post shared by Dmitry Orlov (@orlov_09) on

Talk about a banner weekend for the Washington Capitals. The Ovechkins welcomed their new son, Sergei Aleksandrovich, into the world and Orlov pulled off yet another spectacular day with the Cup.

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