The topic of Alex Ovechkin naturally came up at Tuesday’s press conference introducing new GM Brian MacLellan and new head coach Barry Trotz.
“I’m going to have a conversation with Ovi on his role with the group and how I would like to play,” Trotz said, before admitting he had some problems communicating with the Russian machine. “I haven’t really discussed that with him [though]. Actually, I talked to him when he was over in Russia and they won the World Championships, and he was at Mr. Putin’s house — I believe, or somewhere like that — so it wasn’t the proper time to really sit down and do that.”
If the Kremlin counts as “Putin’s house,” then yes Ovechkin was totally there yesterday.
Two days after hugging Putin and then helping him down a shot out of the World Championship trophy, Ovechkin — along with the rest of his Russian teammates — had a parade down the streets of Moscow in a party bus. After they waved to their adoring fans, the players entered the Kremlin to be honored by the president on their championship win.
Each player was given a state award called the Insignia of Honor by Putin.
Here’s Evgeny Kuznetsov getting pinned by the Russian President. He seems nervous.
A few minutes later, Ovechkin was called up to the stage. Notice the swagger. Ovechkin’s jacket’s unbuttoned. He isn’t wearing a tie; his hair’s uncombed. He makes some small talk. This is clearly not a big deal for him.
Then he shakes Putin’s hand and chucks some deuces in the official Kremlin photo between the two.
Can we slow this down? Take a look at Putin’s face when he notices what Ovechkin did. This blows my mind.
Things just went downhill from there. Even Evgeni Malkin joined in on the fun.
Later Ovechkin presented Putin with a Team Russia jersey which said “Champion” on the back.
Then they all took a photo together.
Finally, after the ceremony Putin revealed one detail of his conversation with Ovechkin. Ovi asked the president to give each player a car.
“The award for the World Champs is the same as the Olympic champions got,” he said.
You can’t knock Ovechkin for trying.
All photos by championat.com
Translation by Fedor Fedin.
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