The Washington Capitals released a statement ahead of their game against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. In conjunction with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the Capitals condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and “the loss of innocent life.”
It’s unclear if the Capitals’ Russian players had anything to do with the statement or share in its sentiment.
The Capitals’ release reads:
Capitals Statement on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the Washington Capitals join the National Hockey League in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the loss of innocent life. We urge and hope for a peaceful resolution as quickly as possible.
The Capitals also stand in full support of our Russian players and their families overseas. We realize they are being put in a difficult situation and stand by to offer our assistance to them and their families.
Statement from the Washington Capitals: pic.twitter.com/oXp4OMYMCd
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 8, 2022
The news comes ahead of Alex Ovechkin’s first game away from DC since Russia’s war in Ukraine began. Ovechkin could receive a frosty reception from Calgary fans as Canada is home to nearly 1.4 million people of Ukrainian origin. It’s the largest population of Ukrainians in the world outside of Ukraine and Russia.
The Athletic’s Salim Valji reports that Ovechkin, as well as Evgeny Kuznetsov Dmitry Orlov, and Ilya Samsonov, will not be made available to the media tonight.
For those wondering…the Washington Capitals have said that they will not be making Alex Ovechkin or any of their Russian players available to media in Calgary, before or after their game
— Salim Nadim Valji (@salimvalji) March 8, 2022
The Capitals’ note that it stands “in full support of our Russian players and their families overseas” and that it would be on “stand by to offer our assistance” follows Brian MacLellan’s comments last week that the team was doing everything it could to help Alex Ovechkin.
“For us, how do we support him?” MacLellan said of the team’s captain. “He’s been the face of our franchise and the face of hockey for this area. His family has grown up here. His kids are from here. Because of his status, he’s put in a hard situation to probably handle the situation I’m not sure he’s fully thought out. Or anybody has really.
“It’s hard for him,” he added. “We talked to him. He gets pressure from all sides. From North America. From Russia. From family. From a lot of different people. He tries to sort it out. We try to support him. We talk to him. We have people that are talking to him all the time asking him ‘how can we help?’ Help him get through what he needs to get through.”
Peter Laviolette added on Tuesday that, “We talked to our players about it. We support our players. They’ve done so much for good for the game. They’re athletes. They’re here playing hockey.”
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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