Dmitry Orlov of the Washington Capitals and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues, whose clubs were ousted in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, were finally allowed to train with the Russian National Team on Friday, May 28th, according to Sport24.ru. The two players were banned by the NHL after they participated in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. The ban was issued by then-NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman at the end of February 2014.
Orlov and Tarasenko led their teams to the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2013-14 season. The Caps went on to win the Presidents' Trophy with the most points during the regular season while the Blues finished second in the Western Conference. However, both teams were defeated in five games by the Boston Bruins in the opening round of the playoffs. Orlov had three goals and four assists while Tarasenko had four goals and three assists.
Orlov is a native of Moscow who has played for the Capitals since the team moved to Washington D.C. in 1974. He won a gold medal with Russia's junior team at the 2008 World Junior Championships. Orlov also won a silver medal with Russia at the 2007 IIHF World Championship.
Tarasenko is a native of Nizhny Novgorod who has played for the Blues since he was drafted fifth overall by St. Louis in the 2006 NHL Draft.
And that's exactly what started to happen. The Winnipeg Jets quickly captured the attention of the hockey world as a result of the Swedish exodus. Winnipeg added Scandinavians Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson, as well as Czech center Vaclav Nedomansky, to their roster. After one season together, the Swedes decided to go their separate ways, with Hedberg going back to Sweden and Nilsson joining the New York Islanders. Meanwhile, Nedomansky signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Now, it's time to look at the players who have played for Norway and Sweden in the NHL. There have been quite a few over the years. Here is a list of them: Peter Forsberg, Tomas Holmstrom, Mats Sundin, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Nicklas Bäckström, Johan Franzen, Victor Hedman, Erik Karlsson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
In addition to all of those names on this list, there have also been several other players who have played for Norway or Sweden in international competitions but never in the NHL. Some of these guys include Thomas Berglund, Alexander Sulzer, Martin Skuza, Jesper Fast, Andreas Englund, Magnus Paajasto, Anton Gustafsson and Oscar Domingue.
Norway has had more success than Sweden at the NHL level, with five players representing both countries.
Vitek Vanecek, the Capitals' goalkeeper, was forced off the game Saturday night due to a lower-body injury. Vanecek left Game 1 of Washington's first-round series against Boston after seeming to injure his groin on a goal by the Bruins' Jake DeBrusk. The 24-year-old Czech native had been outstanding this postseason, posting a 1.64 goals-against average and.945 save percentage in six games.
Vanecek is the second goaltender to get hurt during the playoffs. Chicago's Corey Crawford suffered a leg injury in Game 4 of its first-round series with St. Louis. He missed the remainder of that series as well as all five games of Chicago's conference semifinal matchup with Anaheim. Crawford returned for Game 1 of the Cup final against Vegas but was pulled after allowing four goals on 14 shots in less than 10 minutes of play.
Crawford has been excellent this season, going 20-5-3 with a 2.13 GAA and.920 save percentage. He was named the NHL's First Star of the Week after helping Chicago reach the Cup final.
Vanecek has also been very good this year, compiling a 30-15-4 record with a 2.30 GAA and.914 save percentage. He was selected to the All-Star Game last month and has played every minute of the Capitals' playoff run so far.
Forwards Jordan Nolan (Buffalo Sabres), Michael Ferland (Calgary Flames), and T.J. Oshie (Washington Capitals), as well as defenseman Brandon Montour (Anaheim Ducks) and goalkeeper Carey Price, were among those honored (Montreal Canadiens).
Nolan, 23, was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round (10th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. The 6' 1", 205-pound forward has 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) in 42 games this season. He led all rookies with five game-winning goals last year and is tied for second with three so far this year.
Ferland, 25, was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft. The 5' 11", 195-pound center has 78 points (30 goals, 48 assists) in 79 games this season. He won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 2016 after having cancer treatments following surgery to remove a tumor from his jaw.
Oshie, 28, was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the first round (9th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft. The 5' 10", 185-pound right wing has 290 points (102 goals, 188 assists) in 408 career games over eight seasons with the Caps and Buffalo Sabres. He has 30 goals and 38 assists this year.
Brooks Laich Abelimages/Getty Images North America After last playing an NHL game during the 2017-18 season, former Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich formally announced his retirement from professional hockey today, ending an NHL career that spanned parts of 13 seasons. The 38-year-old Laich finished with 264 goals and 394 assists for 658 points in 910 games, winning a Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2014.
He first joined the Capitals as a free agent on July 1, 2007, after six seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Over the course of his time with Washington, Laich not only helped the team win its first championship but he also earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
After leaving the Capitals organization in 2018, Laich signed with German club Krefeld Pinguine of the DEL on January 22, 2019. He played in eight games for Krefeld before retiring due to injuries. He recorded one goal and three assists during his brief stint with the club.
Laich was drafted by the Capitals in the second round (39th overall) of the 2001 NHL Draft. He spent seven seasons with Washington before being traded to the Maple Leafs on June 30, 2008. Laich played two more seasons with Toronto before signing as a free agent with the Bruins on July 1, 2010.