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Report: KHL’s Moscow Dynamo interested in Ovechkin

Sep 1, 2013, 2:19 PM EDT

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 7: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates scoring teams second goal in the second period during a NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 7, 2013 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) Getty Images

Ilya Kovalchuk’s decision to “retire” and sign with KHL St. Petersburg sent shockwaves through the NHL. We’ve seen players, some of them very talented, bolt to the KHL before, but is it possible that other Russian stars inked to long-term contracts could attempt to follow in his footsteps?

It sounds like that would be the case if Moscow Dynamo general director Andrey Safronov got his way.

“[Alex] 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,” Safronov said, according to Russian Machine Never Breaks and CSN Washington.

“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.”

When Kovalchuk left, it was suggested that finances played a role. Specifically, what he would have been taxed in the United States compared to Russia. The lockout also influenced his decision.

That being said, every situation is unique. Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Pavel Datsyuk all chose to sign extension with their respective NHL teams over the summer rather than head home.

What Kovalchuk did makes Safronov’s comments more noteworthy, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that Alex Ovechkin is willing to seriously entertaining the possibility of attempting to terminate what’s left of his 13-year, $124 million contract with the Washington Capitals.

It’s also worth emphasizing that although the Devils chose not to fight against Kovalchuk’s decision, they had the option.

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 1, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    I can’t blame the KHL for wanting the best domestic players nor can I blame the domestic players for wanting to stay. I do think Ovi will stay for at least a couple more years. He is beloved in the Greater D.C. area and the Caps are competitive enough to instill hope.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Sep 1, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      Even as a Pens fan, I want to see Ovi win the Cup. I throw him in with Stamkos, Giroux, Lundqvist, and Alfie. Is there a sick, twisted part of me that thoroughly enjoys watching them fail year after year? Absolutely. Is there also a part of me that feels I’d be disappointed if they all had “asterik” careers because whenever you read about lists they’re on with records they set or significant moments in their careers, it will read ” * -indicates player never won the stanley cup”. I don’t like to admit it, but again, absolutely. They are all far, far, FAR too talented of players to play a whole career and never win one. Ovi, Lundqvist, and Stamkos specifically are really just generational players who deserve to have their name etched on it.

  2. claysbar - Sep 1, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Ovi probably also knows for sure that Leonsis would dump millions just to block the move leaving Ovi unpaid, unable to play in his prime just out of spite. Whereas Devils ownership by most accounts could barely make payroll much less taxes, lengthy court battles etc.

  3. ethanmacleod1685 - Sep 1, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Lolollol bye bye ovie

  4. watermelon1 - Sep 1, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Every other nhl team also wishes Ovechkin wasn’t going to be out there scoring goals and knocking the snot out of the opponent.

    Sadly, this might be the only thing that could force the Capitals to actually try and build a team once they realize that #8 and decent goaltending is STILL all they have.

    How many years and still not one good defenseman? Just horrible.

    • lowenni - Sep 1, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      Ovi and ‘decent’ goaltending are all they have? First of all, Neuvirth and Holtby make one of the better one-two punches in goal in the entire league (both are Olympic camp invitees). They have one of the best passers in the world in Nicklas Backstrom and tons of above average forwards behind them (Johansson, Laich, Brouwer, Erat, Grabovski). On defense they have Green, Carlson, and Alzner (all of whom were invited to Olympic camps). Please, explain to me how this team that has made the playoffs for years straight is horrible?

      • valoisvipers - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        Take off your rose colored glasses and you will see that the Caps are no longer in the Weak South East division and will most likely not make the playoffs.

  5. dipthatchip - Sep 1, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    @waternelon. Karl Alzner is one hell of a defenseman. Best watch your mouth boy

  6. SpeakPhilly - Sep 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    These russians are soft and must return home to suckle at the teat of their mothers. Go home you little babies and play in your crappy arenas

    • girouxed - Sep 1, 2013 at 11:03 PM

      Russians are definitely not soft bro.

      • bettmanholdshockeyback - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:47 PM

        Some are and some aren’t, which is just like players from everywhere on the planet. To make a blanket statement either direction and/or about any specific origin of a player [or about any other topic for that matter] is simple ridiculous and a sign the person so stating is narrow minded and ignorant, if not stupid. My guess is that SpeakPhilly is the latter.

  7. 19inarow - Sep 1, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Then I hope the KHL got new, up-to-date airplanes for the teams, and pilots that can actually fly them properly.

  8. themagicman1223 - Sep 1, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Why do people who don’t watch teams outside of their favourite team feel the need to comment? The Caps have a pretty good defense and a hell of a team, if everyone can stay healthy they’re going to be SC contenders. I’m not even a caps fan.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 1, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      Seems like you don’t watch any hockey at all

  9. blomfeld - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:58 AM


    Though I’m an ardent, sexy and values-driven fan of the ‘current’ reigning Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, I nonetheless retain ‘compassion & care’ for all other teams and the league at large. And in that vain, a good step to restoring the health of the Washington Capital’s prospects would be to buy this lazy ‘prima donna’ a one-way ticket on the first Aeroflot flight back to Russia ! Let the ‘gangster’ Safronov pay off Ovechkin’s remaining contract and thus be free of this ‘over-hyped’ parasite once and for all ! The Capitals and their fans are ‘good’ people in my opinion and they deserve so much better than what this leech has been bringing to the table since 2006 …

    Good-bye Ivan and good riddance to you !

  10. ironmd778 - Sep 2, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    Take him!!

  11. stakex - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    I’m sure Dynamo Moscow is interested in Ovechkin. He’s one of the top two, and some would argue the top, players in the world. Who wouldn’t want to have him on their team? That a far cry from Ovechkin actually wanting to go back and play in Russia however.

    When it comes to Kovalchuck it was no surprise that he left the NHL. He never seemed overly happy here, and was not in a rush to come back when the lockout ended. Ovechkin is different. The guy lives a rock star life in Washington, and he seems to love every minute of it. Aside from some empty threats made during the lockout there has never been any sign he doesn’t want to stay in the NHL. He seems driven to be the best player in the world and win a Stanly Cup… and neither of those goals can happen in the KHL.

    Is it possible Malkin, Ovechkin, and Datsyuk could all play in the KHL at some point later in their careers? Sure. Its very unlikely however that any of them will bolt from their current contract and go overseas.

  12. jpelle82 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    you almost have to accept this kind of talk to be the norm moving forward every year. its might be a different player every off season but the KHL isnt going anywhere so the speculation will always be there. if your favorite player is russian, you’re probably going to have to deal with this crap at some point even if they are under contract.

    • blomfeld - Sep 2, 2013 at 2:26 PM


      Yes friends, the ‘naivete’ expressed by people like this Stakex and Jpelle is positively dumbfounding … and rather frightening too. Do you think that some ‘gangster’ oligarch is going to give a crap about ethics or upholding his end of the bargain ? … of course not.

      For argument sake, lets say this creep Safronov agrees to pay Ovechkin US 45 million over ‘X’ amount of years. Well right off the hop, at least half of that comes right back to Safronov in the form of a kickback or ‘protection’ money if you will. From there, Ovechkin will be facing an ‘endless sea’ of financial considerations including ‘necessary’ protection against kidnapping, extortion, bribery, etc. The same applies to any so-called ‘top’ Russian star player and they know that, which is why the KHL should ‘never’ be taken as a serious threat. As the old Rudyard Kipling saying goes … “east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet” …

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