- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: ‘We are going to crush them’
- Adam Lanza’s dad: He would’ve killed me ‘in a heartbeat’
- North Korea holds election: 100% turnout, Kim Jong-un gets — 100% of vote
- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
Alex Ovechkin: NHL might lose some players if new CBA cuts salaries
Capitals captain signed with KHL’s Dynamo Moscow on Wednesday
After signing a one-year deal with Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League, the Washington Capitals captain reiterated the possibility that if the new collective bargaining agreement includes major salary rollbacks, some players might not return to the NHL.
“If the league decides to cut our salaries and cut our contracts for what they want, I don’t know how many guys will be coming back,” Ovechkin said on conference call with The Washington Times and The Washington Post on Wednesday. “We signed contracts before, and why they have to cut our salaries and our contracts right now? They sign us. [Now they] want to cut it, I think it’s a stupid idea and a stupid decision by the NHL, [commissioner Gary] Bettman and the guys who work there.”
Ovechkin told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that “if our salaries get slashed, I’ll have to think about whether to return to NHL.” The 27-year-old has nine years and $88 million left on his deal with the Caps and would be contractually obligated to return when the lockout is over or face consequences.
NHL Players' Association members are aware of such consequences, which could include discipline from the International Ice Hockey Federation. With the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, it’s unclear if Ovechkin or any countrymen would be barred from international competition, given the scandal that would create.
“If it’s going to be the same situation, I think it’s all going to be all year because we’re not going to give up,” Ovechkin said. “We stick together because we have a very good [leader], Don Fehr, and the guys know and trust him right now because his job is to help us to play hockey.”
Ovechkin signed his contract with Dynamo less than a week after the lockout began, in the same time frame as Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Bryzgalov, Ilya Kovalchuk, Joe Thornton and Rick Nash agreed to go to Europe.
The Caps left wing doesn’t think the mass exodus of stars says anything negative about the NHLPA.
“I think the guys know exactly what we’re going to do,” he said. “And the NHLPA says right away, ‘OK, guys, if it’s going to be a lockout, you can go to play in Europe or something.’”
But not everyone can find a job in Europe. Ovechkin knows that.
“Our job to play hockey,” Ovechkin said. “Of course, it’s hard for somebody who can’t play [overseas]. But I don’t think somebody’s going to be [angry] or not because they have small kids, and I think they’re just going to spend time with the family, play golf and do something.”
Some players who have remained in the D.C. area, such as Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera, made it clear they agree with Ovechkin that players want to be on the ice making a living. Caps players support teammates who decide to go overseas.
“There’s no rules against it. They’re locking us out, so it’s not like we’re on strike,” Chimera said. “People want to play and players want to play hockey; that’s the big thing.”
Even as some bolt to Europe in the early stages of the lockout, the anger is directed at owners, not fellow players.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Adam Lanza's dad: He would've killed me 'in a heartbeat'
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again