Despite Alex Ovechkin’s repeatedly stated intention to defy the NHL and represent Russia in the upcoming Winter Olympics, it is looking less and less likely the Washington Capitals captain even will be given the chance to do so. On Wednesday, Vladislav Tretiak, the head of the Russian Hockey Federation, said Ovechkin needs to accept he will be unable to participate, according to Russian news site R-Sport. Tretiak’s comments follow NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly recently telling The Athletic that the league has assurance from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), which oversees international competitions, that NHL players under contract won’t be allowed to participate in the PyeongChang Games, scheduled for February. “What is there for Ovechkin to do now? Nothing. Play for Washington,” Tretiak told R-Sport, as translated by The Washington Post. “He has to accept that.” Speaking to reporters in Russia last month, Ovechkin said “there’s always a chance” he’ll be allowed to participate. But those comments seemed subdued compared to those he made when the NHL first announced its decision not to allow its players to attend the Olympics as the league seeks to avoid a disruption of the regular season schedule.
Russian hockey head says Alex Ovechkin ‘has to accept’ he won’t play in Olympics
Washington Post | Sep 13