TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger interviewed Alex Ovechkin ahead of the Caps-Jets game Tuesday night.
After Dreger asked an innocuous question about the Olympics, the Russian machine had some sass for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 13, 2018
Just finished interview with Alex Ovechkin. I asked if he's watching the Olympics. He said no then said, maybe hockey.."thanks Bettman".
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 13, 2018
We can only hope that this becomes a meme as funny as Thanks Obama.
Ovechkin, whose mother Tatyana is a former gold medal winning basketball player, has cited numerous times during his career that winning a gold medal is very important to him. Ovechkin had the support of Capitals owner Ted Leonsis to go to this year’s Olympic Games without the NHL’s blessings, but eventually relented after Russian officials said they could not let him play. In a written statement, Ovechkin bluntly said “it sucks.”
My mom was a two-time Olympic champion and when I start to play hockey I dream that if I have chance to play for my country I will do it every time they ask me. Ever since I was teenager I have played for Junior Russia National team whenever they ask me to. Ever since I was good enough to play on Men’s National Team, whenever they ask me I play. When they ask me to be part of Olympics Closing Ceremony in Vancouver before Sochi get the Olympic Games I said ok let’s do it. When they ask me to be Ambassador for Sochi Olympic Games I did it. When they ask me to go to Greece and be first Russian to carry Olympic flame on way to Sochi I do it. When they ask me to play in World Cup I do it. I am proud that we win on Junior team and for the National team in World Championships but we do not win the most important thing yet. Olympic Gold Medal.
I see the news this week and I am very disappointed that IOC, IIHF and NHL put me and all NHL players in this position when some of the best players in world do not have chance to play in the Olympic Games. This is not just about me but all the NHL players who want to play and have a chance to win Gold for their country. Our countries are now not allowed to ask us to play in the Olympics. Me, my teammates and all players who want to go all lose. So do all the fans of hockey with this decision that we are not allowed to be invited. NHL players in the Olympics is good for hockey and good for Olympics. It sucks that will we not be there to play!!
Clearly the decision still bothers Ovechkin as play has begun in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Ovechkin was also asked during a scrum after practice about Patrik Laine.
“To be honest with you, I don’t watch lots of hockey when I have free time,” Ovechkin said.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 13, 2018
But he’s deeply aware of where he thinks he should be right now.
Headline photo: @Capitals
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