Capitals GM Brian MacLellan was at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Sunday, with a watchful eye on the Capitals players in training camp’s Group Blue. Unlike Group Red, which had 18 regulars from last season’s Stanley Cup-winning squad, Group Blue’s players were all rookies and prospects fighting for a spot on the Capitals’ 23-man roster. Among them was the Caps’ newest summer signing, Sergei Shumakov.
I set out on Sunday to photograph Shumakov. There was a lot of excitement over the Caps signing the Russian forward, but questions still remain as to whether he will make the lineup, what he can add to the Caps, and how he will deal with the transition from KHL to NHL.
Shumakov started Sunday’s practice with a skate test, which he skated solo due to missing the first day of training camp because of visa issues.
Sergei Shumakov is taking his skate test right now. Welcome to the NHL.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) September 23, 2018
Shumakov skated on a line with Travis Boyd and Shane Gersich during practice. While it remains unclear if Shumakov will make the opening night roster, he told Isabelle Khurshudyan that he is not planning on returning to Russia’s KHL this season. This means we will see Shumakov in the AHL if he does not make the Caps roster out of training camp.
A language barrier did not appear to be a major issue for Shumakov at Sunday’s practice. Shumakov, who does not speak English, seemed to gel well with Gersich and Boyd during line rushes and drills. But Shumakov did stick close to fellow Russian, goalie Ilya Samsonov during practice.
Shumakov’s stick bears his nickname, “Shuma.” And on his forearms, Shumakov’s eagle tattoo peeked past his sleeves.
Photos: Elizabeth Kong
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