Alex Ovechkin talks lockout, KHL

Updated: September 18, 2012, 8:12 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Monday marked just Day 2 of the NHL lockout, but Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin thinks the standoff between the league and its players may last much longer.

Ovechkin told Sovetsky Sport, a Russian daily newspaper, that he thinks the lockout may last an entire year. And if that happens, Ovechkin said he will spend that time in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

Ovechkin 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.

-- Alex Ovechkin, to Sovetsky 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," Ovechkin said, according to the newspaper. "Then I will spend the entire season in the KHL. It's an absolute reality."

Day 2 of the lockout saw no changes from either side, as talks between the league and the NHLPA remain unscheduled.

The NHL locked the players out over the weekend, when the collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. It's the NHL's fourth work stoppage in the last 20 years.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr have spoken informally since the lockout began, and may do so again on Tuesday. But nothing official will resume until at least Wednesday between commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr.

The two sides haven't met for face-to-face talks since last Wednesday.

The league could start to announce this week the cancellation of preseason games and there's little chance training camps will open on time. The regular season is scheduled to begin Oct. 11, but that obviously is in peril.

During the work stoppage, all NHL players are free to speak to other leagues. Many will land in the KHL, and some big names have already signed. Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin and Ottawa defenseman Sergei Gonchar agreed to deals with Metallurg. New Jersey Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk will join the KHL's SKA St. Petersburg, his agent confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com's Katie Strang.

Ovechkin, meanwhile, isn't quite ready to make a commitment about his future.

"I am not yet ready to answer this question," Ovechkin told the Sovetsky Sport. "But I think that you will know everything in a few days. It will all be officially announced."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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