Tuesday, October 15, 2019

‘It sucks’: Alex Ovechkin accepts NHL’s ruling to skip first Olympics since 1998


Alex Ovechkin has admitted his want representing his country during the 2018 Winter Olympics is dead.

The Washington Capitals star winger issued an itemized statement with the team on Thursday confirming he’d not compete for Russia at the Pyeongchang Games.

“I said all the time I became asked since last Olympics that no-one will make me aware I can not play because my country would definitely be permitted to ask me,” Ovechkin wrote. “Now the IIHF and NHL say my country isn’t ready to ask anybody within the NHL to experiment with – as there was nothing to speak about any longer.”

The NHL had accommodated a rest while in the regular-season diary for every Winter Olympics since 1998, allowing the planet’s best players to compete for national teams. Even so the league announced in April that it’s going to make no such concession for 2018, saying it yields no tangible benefit for closing for several weeks despite practically uniform enthusiasm from your players to join.

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The International Ice Hockey Federation, world ice hockey’s governing body, had initially hoped to broker a great deal with the league, agreeing to foot the price for your players’ travel and insurance once the International Olympic Committee refused. Nevertheless the NHL sought even further concessions, reported to be marketing opportunities saddled with the Olympics corresponding to what top sponsor.

Whatever hopes lingered of an eleventh-hour deal after months of silence were scuppered on Tuesday when IIHF president Rene Fasel said hello was “practically impossible” to hash out in here we are at the Pyeongchang Games, that can occur from 9-25 February next season.

“I know that your is gone. We are able to tick that heli-copter flight list,” Fasel told Reuters. “We should anticipate China as well as the Beijing 2022 Winter Games while there is an interest within the league and that we have noted that.

“But logistically it’s difficult for Pyeongchang. That train has left the station.”

Ovechkin, who turns 32 in a few days, was the very vocal advocates favoring participation, even saying yet compete with Russia if he were the only NHL player to go to South Korea, a statement lent credibility by way of the public support of Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. Nevertheless the IIHF’s assurance to your NHL that no players under contract is going to be permitted suit up has effectively closed that avenue.

“NHL players during the Olympics is good for hockey and beneficial to Olympics,” Ovechkin wrote. “It sucks that will we stop being there to experiment with!!”

The Ussr, later the Unified Team, won eight associated with a possible 10 Olympic gold medals from 1956 through 1992, often deploying their top domestic professionals prior to the NHL granted permission to the players to your Nagano Games in 1998.

Ovechkin has taken part in the very last three Olympics, failing to get the podium as Russia finished fourth in 2006, sixth truly and fifth on home ice in Russia three years ago. His dissatisfaction while using league’s decision was echoed by his NHL brethren on social network, in particular Russian players seeking a chance at redemption after their underwhelming showing in Sochi.

St Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who played alongside Ovechkin in 2019, said players “get pride playing for his or her country” and expressed frustration that executives took his and others’ Olympic opportunity away.

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Evgeni Malkin recently told the Sovietsky Sport newspaper which he hoped the Pittsburgh Penguins would permit him to see a Olympics, adding with the NHL’s decision: “There’s nothing good relating to this whatsoever.”

Other NHL players have expressed similar discontent.

“It’s disappointing,” said Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, a first-choice player for Canada if healthy. “I’ve never got that chance. I’d love to be in a position to play in Olympics. I’ve heard that they’re real fun.”

Said Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, who won a silver medal when using the Us this year and took part in Sochi: “You always relish the ability to play for ones country, therefore you shouldn’t miss plan those opportunities, especially if it’s at the caliber on the Olympics.

“It would’ve been fun to visit South Korea also to be in the Olympics. Obviously it does not happen.”

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