We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
Username or EmailPassword

Ovechkin joining Russia for World Championship

Friday, 05.06.2011 / 12:15 PM / News

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Share with your Friends

Ovechkin joining Russia for World Championship
The Washington Capitals have announced captain Alex Ovechkin will play for Russia for the remainder of the World Championship, which runs through May 15, in Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia.

Russia is 2-1 in the qualifying round, and with six points is tied with the Czech Republic and Germany for the top spot in Group E. Russia's next game is Sunday, against the Czech Republic.

Ovechkin had told reporters Thursday that he had accepted an invitation from Russian hockey federation president Vladislav Tretiak to join the team for the remainder of the tournament.

"I talked to President Tretiak and they asked me if I go and I said yes, I go," Ovechkin said. "I don't want to go there but I will because I want to play in playoffs, win the Stanley Cup, but the situation is the situation and I'm going to play for my country and try to win gold."

Ovechkin led the Capitals in playoff scoring with 5 goals and 10 points, but for the fourth straight season he was unable to help them advance beyond the second round of the playoffs.

Despite saying nagging injuries limited Ovechkin's effectiveness this season, Capitals General Manager George McPhee said he had no problem with Ovechkin playing in the tournament.

"He's healthy now and he wants to play and I've never had a problem with players going to the World Championship if they want to play," McPhee said. "If they buy in 100 percent and they're there because they want to play … not because they feel obligated because their country's asking them to play; they've got to want to play, and he wants to play, so we're fine with that."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres