Thursday, September 10, 2009
Ovechkin wants NHL players to meet
ESPN.com news services
TORONTO -- Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin says he wants a meeting of NHL players to talk about participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
"Everybody wants to go over there. The Russians want to go for sure over there," Ovechkin said of the Games in Sochi, Russia. "[Ilya] Kovalchuk, [Evgeni] Malkin, I know that."
The NHL, however, is not committed to having its players take part in the Games past next year's event in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Ovechkin was speaking Thursday at an event at the Hockey Hall of Fame to publicize the "NHL 2K10" video game, which features the Russian star on its cover.
He wasn't backing off comments he made the previous day to ESPN that he planned to play in the 2014 Games whether the league sanctions his participation or not.
"It's what I want and what I'm going to do," he said.
Some league owners reportedly are not in favor of having the league shut down during the Olympics. But Ovechkin says the players are the ones taking a hit these days.
"I think right now we're losing money, not the NHL," he said.
Asked what he meant, Ovechkin replied "escrow," referring to money taken out of the players' paychecks to ensure that the NHLPA-NHL split of league revenues is as mandated in the collective bargaining agreement.
Last year's leading goal-scorer also wants some answers about the players' association's recent decision to fire executive director Paul Kelly.
Ovechkin says he wants to talk to Caps player rep Brooks Laich to find out "why it happened."
Otherwise, the 24-year-old star says he has no other issues with the game.
"It's pretty cool right now," he said. "Everything's OK."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.