Alex Ovechkin is back on the ice with nine of his Washington Capitals teammates. The captain returned to the D.C. area Monday night and was skating Tuesday morning in preparation for training camp.
Ovechkin, who caused a stir in September when he said some Russian NHL players might not return if the new collective bargaining agreement slashed their salaries, apparently did not hesitate in coming back.
“I want to find out what the deal is because if it’s done, it’s done,” Ovechkin said. “What’s gonna be situation with my contract and the contract for the future for the players? Everything right now, it’s over.”
“Sometimes you just think, ‘Why we do that?’ ” … But it’s over, so I’m happy to [be] back. It was hard time, but I think everybody miss hockey so badly right now. It’s nice to be back.”
Ovechkin was joined on the ice at the Caps’ practice facility by Braden Holtby, Jason Chimera, Jack Hillen, John Erskine, Mike Green, Matt Hendricks, John Carlson, Jay Beagle and Mike Ribeiro. Video coach Brett Leonhardt served as the second goaltender.
Center Nicklas Backstrom, who missed games in the Kontinental Hockey League with a neck injury, was not on the ice. Neither was defenseman Dmitry Orlov, who hasn’t played for the Hershey Bears since suffering an upper-body injury Dec. 6.