CAPITALS superstar Alex Ovechkin is busy spending his last days of summer in Moscow before heading back to North America for the start of another season.
But that doesn't mean he hasn't kept up on the NHL's summer happenings - particularly in net.
Ovechkin's Capitals made the steal of the summer when they signed free agent Tomas Vokoun to a 1-year deal worth just $1.5 million. Vokoun was the second-best available goaltender behind Ilya Bryzgalov, who signed here in Philadelphia for a full $49.5 million more.
(In fact, as our friends at BroadStreetHockey.com pointed out, Vokoun's career even-strength save percentage is .919, just a shade lower than Bryzgalov's .931.)
The Capitals then traded 23-year-old Semyon Varlamov, one of Ovechkin's close friends, to Colorado in exchange for first- and second-round picks.
We reported in July that it very well could have been the Flyers who sent their young Russian goalie to the Avalanche in order to restock their prospect cupboard, as the Capitals did.
Ovechkin said yesterday, "Our GM George McPhee did everything right."
But that doesn't mean Ovechkin thinks facing the Flyers will be any easier this season. In an interview with Yahoo's Puck Daddy, Ovechkin sounded disappointed that Bryzgalov went to a conference rival.
"Yes, it's not very nice," Ovechkin said. "It's going to be more difficult to score against the Flyers now.
"But I was shocked when the Flyers traded Jeff Carter and captain Mike Richards. And then Bryz came over. He came to a good team that plays tough, defensive hockey."
Bryzgalov would have played in a charity game to support deaf and blind children in Moscow this week with Ovechkin and Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk if he was not already in Philadelphia preparing for training camp, which opens on Sept. 17 in Voorhees.
From the Daily News Flyers blog, frequentflyers.com.