“I must shave you.” (Photo credit: Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times)
On Tuesday, Alex Ovechkin and his sweet new buzz cut returned to Kettler Capitals IcePlex, participating in an informal workout with 10 of his other Capitals teammates. Once he was finished on the ice, Ovi met with reporters and hooooooooo-weeeeeeeee did he have some choice words for “the Bettman.” Ovi also spoke about his plans if the NHL does indeed lock out its players in eleven days.
When asked if he was giving consideration to playing in Russia, Ovechkin responded,”Of course I’m thinking about it because my hometown has teams, and my Russian federation have a league. Of course I’m probably going to be there. But I don’t want to be there, I want to be here.”
Well, Ovi, Russia wants you to be there (again).
KHL president Alexander Medvedev announced rule changes today to the league’s weird governing document thingee to make it easier for the Capitals captain to play in his home country next season. Remember when we mentioned that the KHL only allows five roster spots on each KHL team for foreigners? Well, now there is an exception. SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov and Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov were the first to report Medvedev’s rule changes:
First of all, any KHL team will be allowed to sign up to three players from the NHL for the duration of the possible lockout in the NHL. Of the three, one may be from any country other than Russia.
Furthermore, none of these “lockout-long” contracts would count towards the KHL salary cap, which is a “soft” cap to begin with.
With Sweden announcing that they want no part of displaced NHL players, this rule change will make the KHL a very, very attractive option to both Russian-born NHL players and other superstars (I really can’t wait to write about future bidding wars for Sergei Gonchar and Rick Nash). It will also make it easier for teams like defending-champions Dynamo to sign Ovechkin without upsetting team chemistry and taking roster spots away from core players.
Meanwhile, Medvedev also weighed in on Arkady Rotenberg’s recent comments that Ovechkin playing for Dynamo during a NHL lockout “isn’t necessary” and would bring no prestige to the team. Medvedev certainly believes it would be the right thing to do. Morally, or something.
Medvedev insisted that Dynamo should have first refusal on the 26-year-old wing in the event of a lockout, despite reported interest from big-spending CSKA Moscow, Medvedev said.
“Of course there’s a formal bureaucratic side which can be disputed sometimes, but there’s also a moral-ethical side,” Medvedev said.
“I don’t think anyone will dispute the moral rights of Dynamo to the player Alexander Ovechkin.”
The league president did not specify what action, if any, the KHL might take to enforce a “moral right.”
Maybe the Great Eight returning to Dynamo is still possible and things will be happily ever after and all that, but let’s call it Plan B anyway.
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