Photo: Martin Rose
The International Ice Hockey Federation on Monday announced an $85,000 fine against the Russian Hockey Federation for an incident that occurred after Canada embarrassed Russia again, this time at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in the Czech Republic. But don’t lump Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin into this mess.
Here’s what went down. After Canada destroyed Russia 6-1 in the gold medal game, most of Team Russia’s skaters left the ice immediately after receiving their silver medals. This was a problem because good sportsmanship (and, apparently, the rulebook) requires the losing team to stay on the the ice for the entire medal ceremony, including the playing of the victors’ national anthem. The IIHF noted that team captain Ilya Kovalchuk led the mass departure, though it’s hard to imagine where they got the idea that Kovalchuk would leave something before he was supposed to.
Meanwhile, according to the Russian news agency TASS, Alex Ovechkin stayed for the entire ceremony and tried to keep his team on the ice. That’s called good leadership, people.
Among the Russian players, who remained on the ice and did not walk away were Alexander Ovechkin, Yevgeny Malkin, Viktor Tikhonov and Dmitry Kulikov.
IIHF president Rene Fasel said he saw how Ovechkin and Malkin tried to stop the rest of the players rushing to the locker rooms and that is why the blame cannot be put on the players.
The Russian squad’s head coach and the general manager should have been present on the ice to stop the players from making such disrespectful move, he said.
Fasel added that this was the first time he’s seen something like this in over 29 years of attending the world championships.
Here’s video of what happened from the stands via Slava.
The video of Russian players leaving the ice. Man at the door waving others in is, by witness accounts, Kovalchuk. https://t.co/grtSqff9dC
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) May 18, 2015
While Ovechkin is a savvy and self-aware athlete, he also likely learned the benefits of showing good sportsmanship after the Pittsburgh Penguins opted to not participate in a handshake line after the 2011 Winter Classic.
It’s a bad look.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.