Face it: ...the 2007-08 season proved to be a respectable one for the NHL.
It saw the emergence of Alexander Ovechkin as the most valuable player, in a year when a high ankle sprain limited Sidney Crosby to 53 regular-season games.
So now, after a 111-day off-season, training camps for the 2008-09 season are about to get under way. What's new? What's worth monitoring? Lots, but no storylines are more compelling than these 10.
3. The Alex and Sid Show. In the same way that Magic and Larry Bird revitalized the NBA all those years ago, the NHL could not have hoped for a better marketing punch than the one Ovechkin and Crosby provide. They entered the league just three years ago, and ever since have been duelling in a how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-Maria sort of way. You know: "Anything you can do, I can do better." Each has won an MVP award already; Crosby took his team to the playoffs in each of the past two years; the Washington Capitals dramatically rode Ovechkin's coattails to the postseason last season after a dismal start. The good news: Crosby is only 21; Ovechkin will turn 23 on Wednesday. You'd have to think the best is still to come.
I think Malkin can steal the show, he needs to be included in the mix. And Caps have their own Malkin, his name is Alex Semin. Watch out, this kid will have a breakthru season. His contract is about to expire and he wants to prove that he is no worse if not better than Ovechkin.