Alex Ovechkin and copious triforces. (Photo credit: Sport-Express)
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has reportedly agreed to a contract with his hometown team, Dynamo Moscow. According to Sport-Express’ Yuri Golyshak, the Caps’ star winger will sign the deal and an official announcement will be made “in the near future.” The contract will give Ovechkin the flexibility to leave if the NHL lockout ends.
Golyshak’s story states, “management of the White and Blue have satisfied all of [Ovi's] financial conditions”, whatever that means. Ovechkin has a long history with Dynamo, playing for their major league squad from 2001 to 2005 and winning the Russian Super League title in 2005 during the previous NHL lockout. He also was named an adviser to the club by Mikhail Tyurkin after the Dynamo/HC MVD merger in 2010.
The signing does come as somewhat of a surprise considering the amount of posturing Dynamo underwent in weeks leading up to the lockout. On August 28th, team president Arkady Rotenberg said that signing Ovechkin “isn’t necessary” and would bring no “prestige” to the team. Say what you really mean, Arkady.
As of earlier on Tuesday, Ovechkin’s services were still up in the air as agent Gleb Chistyakov told Sport-Express that CSKA, where Ovi’s former teammate Sergei Fedorov is the general manager, was actively in pursuit of the 27-year-old forward. Chistyakov said Dynamo had shown interest in Ovi but were not “as dynamic” as CSKA in sealing the deal. It’s almost as if he wanted that line in the news.
Dynamo Moscow plays on Thursday against Dinamo Minsk. Look for Ovechkin to take the ice for the first time on Sunday as Dynamo takes on SKA St. Petersburg. It will also be Ilya Kovalchuk’s first game in Russia as well. Should be an interesting moment.
That we will not be able to watch.
S/T to Slava Malamud. Additional reporting by Fedor Fedin.