Alex Ovechkin was at the Russian Embassy earlier this week to accept an award for his work in getting the Olympics to Sochi. After the ceremony, Ovechkin spoke to the press in a rather routine media scrum. In front of a handful of reporters and cameras, Ovechkin discussed his patriotism, his age, and his priorities. Nothing too special — unless you’re RT, Russia’s state-funded TV network.
According to them, Ovechkin re-affirmed his commitment to leave the NHL and play in his home country. Here we go again.
Here’s the video from RT. The title is ‘Sooner or later I will play in Russia’ – Alex Ovechkin.
That’s quite a bold title. The actual transcript goes like this, starting at the two-minute mark:
Chuck “Chuckles” Gormley, CSN Mid-Atlantic: Do you ever think much about playing in Russia at any time in your career, to say that is something I would like to do at some point?
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (for now, at least): Yeah, um, one day maybe sooner or later it’s gonna happen. But my goal right now is to get a Stanley Cup with the Caps. After that, we’re gonna think about it. You never know what’s gonna happen. It’s a business. Maybe tomorrow I’m gonna be traded or something like that. Like I said, my focus right now is with the Caps. I don’t think about the future.
(For the record, Alex Ovechkin was not traded the next day.)
Gormley’s question, which he qualified four or five times (“at any time”, “at some point”), was pertinent and well-measured. Ovechkin’s response was equally diplomatic, quite appropriate for the venue, packed with ‘maybe”s and reminders about his focus being here in Washington.
Pretty modest stuff, but to RT this is a dog whistle that only they can hear: the clarion call that Ovi is on his way home.
Don’t believe the hype.
A photo posted by Washington Capitals (@washingtoncaps) on
For @aleksandrovechkinofficial from the First Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov at the Russian Embassy in D.C. With love. #Caps A photo posted by Washington Capitals (@washingtoncaps) on
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