Ovechkin to Moscow Dynamo A Real Possibility

Ovechkin to the KHL? Don't laugh, its possible (Photo: ury Kuzmin/KHL Photo Agency via Getty Images)

Ovechkin to the KHL? Don’t laugh, its possible (Photo: ury Kuzmin/KHL Photo Agency via Getty Images)

Alex Ovechkin is a proud Russian. So proud, that being the star of the premier league in his motherland is very enticing.

The Washington Capitals are a mess. George McPhee (GM) and Adam Oates (HC) are out the door, leaving the franchise without any direction. The only leader, it’s captain is the scapegoat of every expert analyst in the NHL. For Alex Ovechkin, the criticism is not only frustrating, it’s downright aggravating.

Way back in June 2004, Ovechkin felt the NHL was the place to be before the draft. “It’s the best hockey there is and I think I’m ready to play there, wherever I’m drafted.” I wonder if he feel the same way today, as some of his Russian brethren are heading back to Russia in the KHL.

The biggest star of them all? Ilya Kovalchuk, who retired and then signed with SKA of the KHL within weeks. How could that happen? Katie Baker of Grantland went to Russia to find out.

“After the season was over, I went to Lou [Lamoriello, the Devils’ GM] to see if it was possible,” Kovalchuk said simply, “and we made it possible.”

Could Kovalchuk help bring Ovechkin home? (Maxim Shemetov)

Could Kovalchuk help bring Ovechkin home? (Maxim Shemetov)

You see, all a player has to do is ask and the team could chose to let that player go. KHL President, Alexander Medvedev told ESPN the following:

“Per the terms of our memorandum of understanding with the NHL as it relates to respecting player contracts, Ovechkin would only be free to join a KHL club if he negotiates his way out of his existing contract with the Washington club. Should that situation come to pass, I have no doubt there are KHL clubs who would have interest in his services.”

You know the old saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”? Let’s throw some more on this spark, shall we. Last year during the lockout, the GM for the Dynamo Moscow asked Ovechkin to stay in Russia. Here is the translated quote:

“Ovechkin has a current contract with the Capitals. Can we try to pull him out? We’ll talk, we’ll look at each other and will have some result. Right now all Russian national team players want to come back to their homeland. KHL shows its force and credibility. And finances are important too. Taking taxes in account, playing in Russia has become way more attractive for players.”

During the lockout, Ovechkin threatened to annul his contract if the NHL had too many rollbacks. As expected, he returned when the lockout ended an won the MVP. After last season, in September 2013, Ovechkin said I’m playing for the Capitals … I’m here and I don’t want to go nowhere.” Flash forward to the end of this season, where he scored 51 goals for the Capitals, but took loads of heat from critics and fans alike for missing the playoffs. It’s that attitude that has Ovechkin looking home.

As for the state of the KHL as a viable alternative, Kovalchuk said “The people who played here during the lockout, I think they understand how good it is. It’s a good league. It’s growing, it’s young, but there’s new rinks around and the level of hockey is getting better.” 

Right now, Caps owner Ted Leonsis better sit down with his beleaguered superstar and have him co-pilot this next move. Leonsis said in his press release “I feel a change is needed in order to get us back to being a top echelon team that competes for the Stanley Cup.” Saying the right things and doing the right things, will be key this off-season for Leonsis and the Capitals. Of course, if Alex Ovechkin is listening to his old buddy Kovalchuck, his decision may already be made.

Here’s a little more fuel:

[yop_poll id=”20″]

 

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