-- Shortly after Alex Ovechkin
was joined Tuesday afternoon on a temporary stage at his team's training facility by dozens of adoring youth hockey players, he spent a few minutes with the media to talk about, of all things, his waistline.
A svelte-looking Ovechkin dismissed concerns about his conditioning that cropped up after a video of him sitting in the team's meeting room at Kettler Capitals Iceplex appeared to show him carrying a little extra weight.
"I think it's bad video camera situation," Ovechkin said. "That photo, it was kind of strange. When I get back home my friends start just killing me, saying, 'Hey, did you see that? Did you see that?' I said, 'What happened? What happened?' They said, 'You look kind of fat.' I said, 'No, I can't be fat.' It's kind of a funny situation, I think. I was laughing about it but people was a little bit scared -- especially hockey fans was kind of scared about what happened to my body.
"But my body is perfect right now. You can ask [strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish] -- he'll tell you. It was a pretty interesting moment for me, because it's never happened to me when people said I'm in bad shape."