- Geoff Burke – US PRESSWIRE
When Alexander Ovechkin sprang to Russia after the NHL lockout began, he made a threat of staying in Russia and playing in the KHL instead of returning to the Washington Capitals . The threat wasn’t given much attention due to lack of progress in labor negotiations, and no end to the lockout in sight, but when goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made the same threat later on, discussion arose as to whether or not the players were bluffing.
In a recent interview with Russian media outlet, vmdaily.ru, Ovechkin said (translated by the Alex Ovetjkin blog), “Certainly. I am very comfortable in Moscow, Russia in general, but my soul is across the ocean, in the NHL, with Washington Capitals, with whom I still hope to win the Stanley Cup.” When asked if he’d return to the NHL when the lockout ends.
It seems as if Ovechkin is homesick, while he’s “home”. It seems as though he misses the thrill that every NHL game brings: the crowd roaring, little children screaming, “Let’s Go Caps!”, and many other wonderful details that come with every game.
The interviewer asked Ovechkin what he didn’t like about hockey in the KHL and got this response, “The most annoying thing is almost complete lack of interest in hockey in Moscow…” Basketball games in Moscow have been bringing in around 10,000 fans for games, but his Dynamo team recently collected just 3,000 fans, nothing close to NHL attendance.
Amid everything previously said, Ovechkin did have one other thing to say about the lockout, “…Every week, even every day and hour, the hope that the NHL lockout will be solved, is decreasing.”
Ovechkin will continue to play in the KHL for now, but when the lockout ends I’m sure he’ll be on the first available flight back to DC.
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