Alex Ovechkin jumped back onto the ice Monday along with three-time Stanley Cup champion Evgeni Malkin to support Russia’s Night Hockey League, an amateur organization.
“Magnificent five and goalkeeper!))) 💪👍🇷🇺,” Ovechkin wrote on Instagram.
A post shared by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on
Via the Tula Press, the team also featured two-time Stanley Cup champion Slava Fetisov and government officials Sergey Shoygu (Russia’s Minister of Defense), Alexei Dyumin (Governor of Tula Oblast and former Deputy Defense Minister), and Аndrey Vorobyov (Governor of Moscow Oblast).
“Have a nice day, everyone! The game will not be easy …!)” Vorobyov wrote on Instagram.
A post shared by Андрей Воробьев Губернатор МО (@andreyvorobiev) on
The amateur league was founded on December 15, 2011, as an initiative by Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Russian hockey players. The league is supported by the Russian Ministry of Sport and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.
In May, Putin hit the ice for a Night Hockey League festival held in Sochi. He played alongside several hockey legends including Fetisov, Alexei Kasatonov, and Valeri Kamensky.
The Night Hockey League, Russia’s amateur ice hockey championship, is a leading grassroots sports organization. The Night Hockey League, styled as an All-Russia festival of ice hockey for amateur teams, is supported by the Russian Ministry of Sport and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation. 823 teams from 68 Russian regions participated in the competition in the 2016-17 season. 142 teams, including six women’s teams, took part in the finals in Sochi. Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port Group is an official sponsor of the league.
So far this summer, the politically “neutral” Ovechkin has been associated several times with Putin as the United States continues to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Ovechkin attended Putin’s annual town hall event in June, hoping to ask a question about Dynamo Moscow’s financial troubles. During Ovechkin’s wedding, Putin congratulated the couple via a cable and a personal phone call. Later it was revealed that Putin got Alex and Nastya a tea set as a wedding present.
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