By Chris Cerullo and Ian Oland
The Washington Capitals announced on Tuesday morning that captain Alex Ovechkin would be taking a leave of absence from the team “to attend to a family matter and the health of a loved one.”
According to a report from Russian outlet Match TV, Ovi’s father Mikhail is sick. Match TV says Ovi is flying to Moscow as Mikhail required “urgent hospitalization.”
Match TV writes in its article:
According to Match TV, Washington Capitals forward and captain Alexander Ovechkin will fly to Russia in the near future due to the illness of his father Mikhail Ovechkin.
Daria Tuboltseva of Russia’s Sport24 also reported the news online.
Alex Ovechkin flies to Moscow, his father is in hospital #ALLCAPS #Ovechkin
— Daria Tuboltseva (@DariaTuboltseva) February 14, 2023
Mikhail has had a history of heart issues. Two days before the 2016 playoffs began, Mikhail suffered a heart attack, causing the family to call for an ambulance. The now 71-year-old also had heart surgery done in February of 2014. Tatyana Ovechkina has said in past interviews that Mikhail can no longer travel large distances and attend Ovi’s games in the United States due to his “declining health.”
Mikhail and Tatyana both recently stayed up well into the morning to watch their son pass Gordie Howe for second on the NHL’s all-time goals list.
“Of course, Sasha’s dad and I watched the game,” Tatyana said in December. “We are very pleased, the festive ceremony also turned out to be very beautiful. Sasha – well done, that he has surpassed another achievement.
“After the game, as usual, we phoned our son, congratulated each other, this is a tradition for us,” Ovechkina continued. “We always communicate.”
Over the summer, Ovechkin played in his first career soccer game with Dynamo Moscow. He scored a goal and tallied a huge hit. Ovi wore the number three during the game in honor of his father, who played professional soccer during his adult years.
“My father played for Dynamo Moscow and was injured,” Ovechkin said then of the tribute. “And today this match was more for him than for me.”
Mikhail was noticeably touched by the tribute and said it was a dream come true for himself personally.
“We are all happy. And me, and my mother, and all relatives. Yes, this is true happiness!” Mikhail said.
“He went down in history,” he said of his son. “A talented person is talented in everything.”
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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