Photo credit: Maxim Shemetov
Last Friday, Dynamo Moscow General Director Andrei Safronov was asked in a fan forum about his team’s interest in bringing Alex Ovechkin back to Russia to play for his home team. “Ovechkin has a current contract with the Capitals,” Safronov said. “Can we try to pull him out? We’ll talk. We’ll look at each other and will have some result.”
That might have seemed at first an unrehearsed response to an informal question, but on Tuesday, Safronov doubled down on his comments in an interview with Sport Express’s Dinara Kafiskina.
You said that you want to try to “snatch” Alexander Ovechkin from Washington to Dynamo. How real is that?
Everything depends on Washington’s management. In any case, there are chances, although minimal. We will work on that, stay in contact. It would be impossible to bring Alexander back this season, because he has a valid contract, but in the future – why not?
But does he himself want that?
Yes. I think all players now want to return to their homeland. The financial component is relevant. Considering taxation, it has become more attractive for the players to play in Russia. The KHL is growing and developing. Our league presents a competition for the NHL. It is true that we lack infrastructure and new arenas, but I think all that will come.
Given a chance to walk back from his claim, Safronov instead reiterated it and said the desire for a reunion is mutual. Whether this is something Ovechkin has actually discussed with Safronov or anyone at Dynamo is left to our interpretation, but there were lots of ways Safronov could have responded in Russian that would have been more ambiguous than his “Yes” followed by a full stop.
Unless, of course, Safronov meant nothing more than to bolster his opinion that “all players now want to return to their homeland.”