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Ontario Hockey League
Latest Ontario Hockey League Items
Nail Yakupov is ready to live with the pressure of being a No. 1 pick.
When hot-shot prospect Nail Yakupov came to North America to play in the Canadian Hockey League, he didn't know English well enough to get around. He leaned on an American friend who knew Russian, teammate Alex Galchenyuk, for translation as long as he could.
As Dale Hunter left his post as Washington Capitals coach, one thing was clear: He was going home, back to London, Ontario, and the Knights, the Ontario Hockey League team he co-owns along with his brother Mark.
The fans who wildly cheer the team wanted Dale Hunter back. So did the players, firmly convinced that his way is the right way. Officials in the organization wanted Hunter back, too, enamored with his firm hand and no-nonsense approach.
For quite some time, Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee tried to persuade former player Dale Hunter to return to the team as its coach. This season, McPhee finally got his man _ just not for very long.
Brooks Laich tried to convince Dale Hunter to stay as Washington Capitals coach. He joked that Hunter could have his house and he'd move into an apartment if that was necessary.
Even as he's immersed in the Washington Capitals' playoff run, Dale Hunter has kept an eye on the London Knights, the junior team he co-owns along with his brother Mark. When the Caps beat the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the first-round playoff series, Hunter smiled when told the Knights won, too.
A team so often draws its mood from its coach, so it wasn't surprising in previous years to see the Washington Capitals tighten up when Bruce Boudreau was under pressure. The highs were high when Boudreau got fired up, and the lows were low when the results didn't match lofty expectations.
Consider Monday night's Game 2 in a vacuum without consideration of salary, reputation or statistics, and Alex Ovechkin's numbers made him look like a clutch third-liner and power-play specialist.