Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was in Balashikha and dropped the ceremonial first puck before the Dynamo Moscow vs. Avangard Omsk preseason game on Thursday. Wearing a black hat and a Dolce & Gabbana t-shirt, Ovechkin flashed a smile before dropping the piece of vulcanized rubber between Avangard captain Alexei Emelin and Dynamo captain Vadim Shipachyov.
Ovechkin spent parts of five seasons with Dynamo Moscow during his likely Hall of Fame career, last playing for his hometown team during the NHL lockout in 2012.
Александр Овечкин на символическом вбрасывании в Балашихе «Авангард» – «Динамо» pic.twitter.com/hoW7n1XAlv
— СЭ Хоккей (@hockey_se) August 15, 2019
The KHL posted photos of Ovechkin dropping the puck.
— KHL (@khl_eng) August 15, 2019
According to the KHL, the Stanley Cup winner was also on hand to open a new academy in the Moscow Region town, which will help local hockey players up to the age of 17.
Earlier this week, Ovechkin showed support to Dynamo’s soccer team by participating in the ceremonial first kick before its game against Zenit St. Petersburg. Before his trip to China, Ovechkin also attended a Team Russia basketball game to show support to his close friend Vitaliy Fridzon.
After dropping the puck, Ovechkin met with the Russian press. Sport-Express posted a snippet of his conversation with Alexey Shevchenko.
“In China, it was very interesting how the country is preparing for the Olympic Games,” Ovechkin said.
Will the NHL participate in the Olympics?
Alex Ovechkin: “The NHL invited me there so it’s possible. Let’s wait and see.”
In the NHL, a lockout may happen. Are you planning to return to Russia during it?
Alex Ovechkin: “It is clear that in the case of a lockout a lot of Russian players will come back here. As for me, let’s wait and see. If it happens, I will make a decision. I have two more years of my contract (with Washington), and a year before the lockout – we’ll see.”
In general, what does the NHLPA say about participating in the Olympics?
Alex Ovechkin: “Unfortunately, there was no talk. The first discussion will be during training camp. After that, there will be some information.”
Headline photo: KHL
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