A little background for those of you who don’t know what’s going on with Ovechkin and the Olympics:
April 4, 2017
“Yeah, I didn’t change my mind and I won’t,” Ovechkin told the media after practice.
“Because it’s my country,” Ovechkin said. “I think everybody wants to play there. It’s the biggest opportunity in your life to play in the Olympic Games. So, I don’t know, somebody [is] going to tell me ‘don’t go,’ I don’t care, I just go.”
September 14, 2017
“I wanted to make this statement so that my words are clear and nobody misunderstands what I am saying. The Olympics are in my blood and everybody knows how much I love my country. Ever since I was a kid and all the time I have played in the NHL, NHL players have played in the Olympic Games. We never have to make choice between our team and our country my whole career. I love the Capitals and my teammates here as much as I love my country and I know all the other NHL players feel the same for their teams. We should not have to be in position to make this choice.
My mom was a two-time Olympic champion and when I start to play hockey I dream that if I have chance to play for my country I will do it every time they ask me. Ever since I was teenager I have played for Junior Russia National team whenever they ask me to. Ever since I was good enough to play on Men’s National Team, whenever they ask me I play. When they ask me to be part of Olympics Closing Ceremony in Vancouver before Sochi get the Olympic Games I said ok let’s do it. When they ask me to be Ambassador for Sochi Olympic Games I did it. When they ask me to go to Greece and be first Russian to carry Olympic flame on way to Sochi I do it. When they ask me to play in World Cup I do it. I am proud that we win on Junior team and for the National team in World Championships but we do not win the most important thing yet. Olympic Gold Medal.
I see the news this week and I am very disappointed that IOC, IIHF and NHL put me and all NHL players in this position when some of the best players in world do not have chance to play in the Olympic Games. This is not just about me but all the NHL players who want to play and have a chance to win Gold for their country. Our countries are now not allowed to ask us to play in the Olympics. Me, my teammates and all players who want to go all lose. So do all the fans of hockey with this decision that we are not allowed to be invited. NHL players in the Olympics is good for hockey and good for Olympics. It sucks that will we not be there to play!!
I said every time I was asked since last Olympics that nobody is going to tell me I can’t play because my country was going to be allowed to ask me. Now the IIHF and NHL say my country is not allowed to ask anybody in the NHL to play and there is nothing to talk about anymore. I talk to Ted about this last year and he support me and have my back and understand what I want to do if I was allowed to be asked to go. Me and my family thank him for his support.
There is nothing like Olympic Games. It is still my dream to win an Olympic Gold medal for my country. I hope things will change and all of us will have a chance to go again in 2022. What’s most important to remember is kids have lots of dreams. My focus as it always is this time of year is on my other dream as a kid, to try to win the Stanley Cup. I am excited training camp has started in Washington and the time for talking is done. We just have to go out and do it and I will try my hardest to help my teammates win like I do every year since I came to the NHL.”
Well, would you just look at that. Would you just look at it? Would you look right at it. *insert goofy laugh here* This right here is what we call an old fashioned flip flop. All bark, negative zero infinity bite. The great 8 has done a figure eight and will not be attending the Olympics. Am I surprised? No, not at all. Along with having about 9.5 million individual reasons (that’s money people) to not attend the Olympics, OV also has to think about the franchise that he’s been the face of for the past decade.
On one hand, I respect it. The fact that Ovechkin has loyalty towards the NHL and the fans that adore him is incredibly commendable. If he went to the Olympics, his team would more than likely face punishment and I’m sure he would’ve been suspended/ reprimanded for an unseeable amount of time. This would put the Capitals in a terrible position and the captain of an NHL team cannot do that.
On the other hand, get a back bone pal. You can’t puff out your chest and go stomping around saying that you’re going to leave no matter what and then tuck your tail between your legs and take back everything you said. It would’ve been AWESOME to see Ovechkin throw up the middle finger pistol
to Gary the rat Bettman and just go overseas. Why? Well first off, the Olympics are AWESOME. They provide us with the best entertainment outside of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There’s nothing better, as an American, than listening to the Overture of 1812 on repeat for a few weeks and supporting your home country. From a Russian standpoint, this would’ve been one of your best chances to get that gold. Can you imagine OV lined up against a US college player, a Canadian junior player, or any other player who couldn’t cut it in the NHL so they went over to Switzerland to play instead? Guy would probably put up 50+ points (exaggerating, but not really). Second off, I would’ve loved to have seen if any other NHLers would’ve had the balls to join him. I’m not sure if many would, but can you imagine if players around the league put Bettman and his followers in a body bag by saying, “Yeah going to need a 1 month+ vacation right in the middle of the NHL season. I MAY come back injured but oh well, I like to party.” The NHL would’ve been spinning in circles and I guarantee they wouldn’t be pulling this no Olympic bullshit again.
This dream lasted no longer than 6 months. What would’ve been one of the biggest stories in NHL history is now just a fantasy. So good on OV and bad on OV for putting myself on an emotional roller coaster. I guess I’ll just have to wait another half of the year until I see Ovechkins name in the national news again—“Washington Capitals Eliminated in the Second Round of the NHL playoffs.”