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“Everybody wants to play hockey. It’s not enough to stop the NHL. The league stopped the NHL, Bettman and the owners stop the NHL,” Ovechkin said. “They don’t play hockey, they don’t block the shots, they don’t fight, they don’t get hit. They just sit in a box and enjoy the hockey.”

On Wednesday, the NHL officially announced the cancellation of preseason games through Sept. 30, which includes the Baltimore Hockey Classic and two others for the Caps. So without a way to play hockey in North America, it won’t be surprising if more players choose to join Ovechkin overseas.

“It’s not a secret that our job is in NHL, and right now we don’t have a job,” he said. “So we just decide to come play in KHL Russia.”