Eastern training camp battles, Ovechkin cleared to go to Russia and a cold ad campaign

Training camp battles are huge this year as players have a very short window to prove they should be players a certain role on the roster. Darryl Dobbs has his eye set on one key battle for each team with the Easters Conference published today and the Western Conference coming out tomorrow.

There are a lot of tough decisions for coaching staffs to make and here are a few of the most intriguing ones.

Chris Kreider vs Carl Hagelin for a top six spot on the New York Rangers. Dobber believes Kreider will get the first crack at the job despite his poor numbers in the American League this season (five goals, 12 points, minus-6 in 33 games) because his game is best suited for the NHL and because of how Hagelin’s game went south once Kreider joined the team in the playoffs.

Nazem Kadri, Clarke MacArthur, Nikolai Kulemin and Tyler Bozak all vying for power play time in Toronto. Dobber like Bozak and Kadri for the job, but who can really predict how things will go in the Big Smoke these days?

Wojtek Wolski and Eric Fehr battle in Washington for a top six spot and a future in the NHL. Both have failed to live up to expectations as high draft picks and whoever fails to produce will have a hard time making it back into the NHL next season. Dobber is prediction Wolski will get the job in the long haul after an early season injury to Fehr.

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Alex Ovechkin will be going to Sochi for the 2014 Olympics. (s.yume/Wikimedia Commons)

Alex Ovechkin will be going to Sochi for the 2014 Olympics. (s.yume/Wikimedia Commons)

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin made splashes last year by claiming he would play in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia regardless if the NHL allowed its players to leave. While it is still undecided if NHL players will be featured, it is now certain Ovechkin will be in his home country for the tournament. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis will allow Ovechkin to leave the Capitals and play in the Olympics, noting how he wouldn’t want to get in the way of something so important for the superstar and his family. And while that could mean a very depleted Washington roster if no other team sends their players, center Nicklas Backstrom wants to represent Sweden as well, Leonsis is prepared to deal with that when the time comes.

Ovechkin has also been chosen to be a torchbearer for the 123-day relay leading up to the games.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs ran a pretty unique ad campaign last night, dropping over two dozen blocks of ice across the city, each with a Leafs jersey encased inside it. Any fan that could reach the jersey inside the block is allowed to keep it and everyone is encouraged to take their picture with the frozen jerseys and send them to the Leafs twitter account.

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Head on over to Facebook and like the official AHL All-Star page in order to vote on the starting lineups. The rosters were announced yesterday for the All-Star Classic which will be taking place January 27-28 in Providence, Rhode Island.

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There were no signings or trades yesterday.

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