Friday, April 11, 2014
Could Ovechkin pull a Kovalchuk?
By Pierre LeBrun
We speculated on our podcast Thursday about whether a KHL club might try to lure Alex Ovechkin away from the Washington Capitals, if not this summer, then perhaps over the next few years.
It's a similar idea to Ilya Kovalchuk bolting from the New Jersey Devils to the KHL last summer.
Ovechkin has not said anything that would suggest he's even thinking about it. But we asked KHL president Alexander Medvedev for his view on this possibility.
His response, relayed to ESPN.com via a KHL spokesman: "Per the terms of our memorandum of understanding with the NHL as it relates to respecting player contracts, Ovechkin would only be free to join a KHL club if he negotiates his way out of his existing contract with the Washington club. Should that situation come to pass, I have no doubt there are KHL clubs who would have interest in his services."
Ovechkin has seven more years and $70 million left on his NHL contract. Caps GM George McPhee declined comment when reached by ESPN.com.