By Ian Oland
Photo credit: kyivpost.com
A few summers ago, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin revealed to Pavel Lysenkov that he had Vladimir Putin’s phone number. Because sometime sports stars and world leaders just need to rap. “It’s not his cell phone number, but rather his home phone,” Ovechkin said, as translated by Igor Kleyner. “I call him often. But Putin is never at home. So far I haven’t managed to talk to him yet!”
That last part appears to have changed. During Adam Oates’ press conference with the media on Thursday, the Caps head coach revealed that Ovi had to take a pretty important call while they were hanging out together in Russia.
Oates on if he understands Ovechkin's importance to RUS: "When I was over there, the president called him. Obama doesn't call me too often."
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) September 26, 2013
As revealed by The Washington Post’s Mike Wise, Oates flew to Russia in mid-August and spent five days hanging out with Alex Ovechkin (and maybe drinking a few lagers). Oates also flew to Chelyabinsk to meet with Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov.
In his presser, Oates explained how the Russian president’s phone call was crucial in Ovechkin’s upcoming trip to Greece this weekend, where he’ll be the first Russian to carry the Olympic torch. As one of Russia’s Olympic ambassadors, Ovechkin has had to take part in many events over the last few years to promote the Sochi games. And when Fearless Leader asks for a favor, you don’t let him down.
So yeah, good to know: Ovi and Putin are homeys, chatting on the phone, talking puck. I’d like to imagine that when Putin’s eyes look at his caller ID, he sees three things— an O, a V, and an I.
Who knows. Maybe they’ll go hunting shirtless next summer. We’d be all over that.
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