Alex Ovechkin debuts in KHL, blows up Libor Pivko with hit (VIDEO)

20 Sep

As you're well aware if you read or watch any hockey media, Alex Ovechkin doesn't back-check.

Ah, but that's NHL Alex Ovechkin. This is KHL Alex Ovechkin. And KHL Alex Ovechkin, in his debut with Dynamo Moscow on Thursday, made a beeline to the neutral zone after a turnover by his team to send Libor Pivko of Dynamo Minsk on his rump-roast with a solid check.

Hey, it's no 'Devastation of Jagr' in the 2010 Olympics, but it brought the house down.

Today was also Evgeni Malkin' debut with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, which lost to Ufa, 4-3, in overtime. Here is Andrei Zubarev welcoming the Pittsburgh Penguins star to the KHL with a low bridge.

Malkin tweeted that he was greeted with a "full stadium." Ovechkin's Dynamo debut, meanwhile, drew 5,000 fans, far less than capacity.

Tags: , beeline, , , , Evgeni Malkin, , Jagr, , Libor Pivko, Libor Pivko of Dynamo Minsk, , Pivko
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MOSCOW (AP) -- Alexander Ovechkin is returning to his former Russian team Dynamo Moscow during the NHL lockout.
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MOSCOW (AP) -- Alexander Ovechkin is returning to his former Russian team Dynamo Moscow during the NHL lockout.
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With some of the big names signing in the KHL, Alex Ovechkin is still on the market. Some of us thought that today, Alex Ovechkin's 27th birthday, he would get a nice present in the form of a contract in the KHL.

But nothing has happened yet.

Just recently, his alma mater Dynamo Moscow was making strange noises about not bringing him on board for the lockout. And that's after the club employed Ovechkin as its "official advisor" a couple of years ago even though it is tough to say if the relationship is still ongoing.

Gleb Chistyakov, his Russian agent, said:"CSKA and Dynamo Moscow have interest in us. The negotiations are still ongoing.  And there's nothing concrete that can be disclosed to the newswire."

But one thing is clear: Ovechkin thinks the NHL lockout may take an entire year and if it does, he will spend that year in the KHL.

Said Ovechkin, exclusively to Pavel Lysenkov and Sovietsky Sport: "If the League [NHL] continues to insist on their [demands], then it will take a full year. That's because we are not going to cave in.  Then I will spend the entire season in the KHL. It's an absolute reality."

Where in the KHL would Ovechkin play? Said Matveev:

"First of all, there's a difficult question with insurance.  For players of Ovechkin's level it is about $100k per month.  The insurance company must be established, approved by the NHLPA.  Secondly, of course, there's the contract's substance."

How important it is to play with established players:

"Of course Ovechkin wants to play with good teammates.  But it is not the deciding factor.  I think that the clubs still don't know who they will sign.  Who will tell you now that Datsyuk, Semin and Ovechkin will be on the same team?"

Chistyakov added that he hopes the negotiations won't take long

It's worth remembering that Sergei Fedorov, who played with Ovechkin in Washington, is currently CSKA's general manager.

But the KHL's president says Dynamo has a "moral right" to Ovechkin.

Ovechkin has avoided questions about his future. "I am not yet ready to answer this question," Ovechkin told Dmitry Ponomarenko of Sovetsky Sport. "But I think that you will know everything in a few days. It will all be officially announced."

At the same time, the Washington Capitals captain said that he is yet to decide where he will play.

It is very possible, even more likely than not, that Ovechkin will indeed join CSKA. It is also possible he will be reunited with his old friend from Washington, Alexander Semin there, who also has not yet made up his mind about his lockout future.

And there are more whispers — completely unconfirmed — that Pavel Datsyuk may center that line.

Ovechkin also declined to tell who he is skating and practicing with, citing possible rumors. "I don't want to answer that question, otherwise rumors will start floating around. I will only say that I am not going to drag out the negotiations," he told SovSport. "For me personally the sooner I start the season the better. I fully understand that it will be difficult to adjust at first."

(Ed. Note: A previous version of this post listed Valery Matveev as Ovechkin's Russian agent, as per Izvestiya newspaper. His Russian agent is Gleb Chistyakov.)

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Alex Ovechkin ‘isn’t necessary’ for KHL’s Dynamo during lockout, says club president

26 Aug

With the NHL hurtling toward a lockout, one expects the KHL to begin a shopping spree on star players who might hop over to Russia during the work stoppage. Players like Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, in theory.

On Saturday, Dynamo Moscow general manager Andrey Safronov was quoted by RIA Novosti as coveting Ovechkin, indicating the team would speak to him if there's a lockout about joining the reigning Gagarin Cup Champions.

Ah, but on Sunday, team president Arkady Rotenberg told R-Sport that he's not all that open to Ovechkin joining the team — although he left the door open.

From RIA:

"I'm actually against it. And I don't see any prestige in it," Rotenberg said.

"I think that Ovechkin isn't necessary."

Rotenberg, a billionaire businessman with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, hinted that he could be persuaded to bring in Ovechkin by Safronov and coach Oleg Znarok. "I don't know. If they persuade me strongly," he said.

Safronov lamented the fact that Dynamo had already reached its five-player limit for "foreign" player (i.e. from other Leagues). But KHL president Alexander Medvedev has hinted that his League will enact "measures" if and when the NHL lockout begins.

Via SovSport, Medvedev anticipates stars like Ovechkin, Ilya Bryzgalov and Evgeni Makin will come to the League until the NHL labor situation is resolved as "it will raise interest in hockey in Russia."

Metallurg Magnitogorsk holds the rights to Malkin should he head to the KHL. Nail Yakupov has been chatted up as KHL bound by his agent.

Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings told R-Sport that he will make a decision on his lockout plans next month, having played with Dynamo in 2004-05.

s/t Kukla

Tags: , , , isn, , KHL?s Dynamo, , , , spree,
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