Alex Ovechkin on KHL Rumors: “I Have a Contract”

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Alex Ovechkin jokes with fellow Russian Dimity Orlov Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

Ovi skates Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

Ovi skates Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

Resplendent in his finest Nike-provided fashions, Alex Ovechkin faced the media for the first time this season at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday. Gathered in front of a phalanx of sports reporters still sleep-deprived from last night’s Redskins game, Ovi answered questions about his rather eventful — not in good way — last couple of weeks.

In late August, an executive for Dynamo Moscow, Ovechkin’s former team, said he wanted Ovi to bolt to Russia á la Ilya Kovalchuk — even if he had a contract with the Capitals. While fanciful, it’s not a comfortable idea for the Caps and the $123 million they’ve invested in Ovechkin.

Ovi, though, brushed that idea aside.

“The answer is I’m here,” Ovechkin told reporters. “I have a contract.”

“I love Dynamo, it’s my first team and play when there was lockout, but I have a contract so I have to play here,” he went on. “I respect my teammates. I respect the fans.”

Ovechkin did, however, think there was a double standard when it came to players breaking their contracts.

“I respect every player,” he said. “They have own life. … Some American guy goes to KHL and after two months they say I want to cancel my contract and go back. Why nobody put pressure on him?”

Then, it was time for Ovi to talk about the ceremony to light the Olympic torch, which he’s scheduled to attend. It’s happening in Greece on September 29th, just a few days before the Capitals take the ice for the season opener and only thing yet to be worked out are his travel arrangements.

Ovi is an official ambassador for the games, so naturally the organizers feel he has an obligation to be there. Of course, the Great Eight has another important obligation: the Washington Capitals. Ovi insisted, however, that the torch lighting would not interfere with his play.

“I just fly to Greece and go back,” he said. “That’s the most important thing. I don’t want to miss the games.”

“It’s a huge honor for me,” Ovechkin added of his Olympic role. “I talked to Capitals organization, I talked to my teammates, and I explained everything. Only once in your life opportunity.”

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  • Rob

    “I love Dynamo, it’s my first team and play when there was lockout, but I have a contract so I have to play here,” I think he meant “wants” to play here,…just a bad English paraphrase…ouch – what happens if you DIDNT have a contract here ? Russia or USA ?

  • Adam Schwager

    Ovechkin’s dream is to raise Lord Stanley. Not win the RSL, which he did in 2005, or the Gagarin Cup, which he got credit as winning last year. And until he raises that cup, he wants to be here.

  • Yo8

    Remember that he signed this contract. It wasn’t like someone force him to do it. If he signed is because he wanted to stay for a long time and win the cup.

  • yv

    With this personal, unnecessary trip, we know now whom to blame, if Caps will lose to Hawks, unless Ovi will score a hattrick in losing effort!?

  • Fedor

    Sidney Crosby: Wears jersey number 87, signifying his year of birth. Alexander Ovechkin: Wears jersey number 8, signifying the number of goals he needs to score in any given game before he won’t automatically be blamed if the Capitals lose.

  • yv

    Funny. I guess Brown is not a Pens fan?

  • Fedor

    Name of the author is Sean McIndoe, he’s a Leafs fan IIRC.

  • Roman Z.

    ” á la Ilya Kovalchuk … ” Chris, the apostrophe on the “a” goes in the wrong direction!

  • OlietheGoalie

    I love Ovie, and I hope it’s just the language barrier, but he didn’t give me a lot of confidence. His “I have a contract so I stay here” sounded like he wasn’t saying he wouldn’t be in Moscow if he had a choice.

    But again, as stated, this is Ovie. He won’t be hired as a motivational speaker any time soon.