Alex Ovechkin has said he hopes to go to the Olympics next February.
Ted Leonsis has said he won’t stand in Ovi’s way if that’s what he chooses to do.
As it turns out, however, suiting up for Russia in PyeongChang may not even be an option for the Capitals’ captain, according to one report.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Athletic last week that the International Ice Hockey Federation has assured the league that NHL players under contract won’t be allowed to participate in the Olympic tournament.
To be clear, that’s not the Capitals saying Ovechkin can’t go to South Korea.
Or the league saying he can’t represent his homeland.
That’s the Olympic tournament’s sanctioning body saying it won’t roster NHL players who go rogue.
From Pierre LeBrun’s fantastic article, which chronicled a day in the hectic life of Daly:
As Daly explains, the International Ice Hockey Federation has given the NHL assurances that it won't allow any NHL players under contract to participate in the Olympic tournament.
“So I just don't think it will be an issue,” he said.
Daly also told LeBrun that the league has not prepared a memo warning teams and/or players about the consequences should someone bolt for the 2018 Winter Games.
“No, because we don't believe it's going to be an issue,” Daly was quoted as saying.
Ovechkin has been in town working out ahead of training camp for a couple of weeks. He’ll address reporters for the first time this season on Friday at media day.
And you can be sure he’ll once again be asked about going to the Olympics in the middle of the Capitals’ season.
Based on Daly’s comments, though, it seems the question might have been answered already.
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